As a Neurologically Focused Chiropractor with a deep passion for holistic wellness and pediatric care, I understand the importance of supporting a baby's natural movement patterns. In this blog post, I will share valuable insights into major motor milestones and how you can help your little one reach them on time. I'll also reference the book "Baby Moves" by Marianne Hermsen-Van Wanrooy, which aligns perfectly with our approach at Compass Chiropractic.
The Significance of Natural Movement
Babies are born with an incredible potential for movement. Their tiny bodies are equipped with innate reflexes and an adaptive nervous system that allows them to explore and develop their motor skills. It's essential to recognize the significance of natural movement in a baby's development and allow them plenty of unrestricted floor time to explore these innate movement patterns. Here are some key points to consider:
1. Reflexes and Foundations
Babies are born with a range of reflexes that serve as the building blocks for more complex movements. These reflexes, such as the Moro reflex and the rooting reflex, are essential for survival and early development. They provide the foundation upon which major motor skills are built.
2. Major Motor Milestones
Understanding major motor milestones is crucial for tracking your baby's development. These milestones are not only physical but also cognitive and social. Here's a breakdown of some of the significant milestones and when you can expect to see them:
a. Tummy Time (1-3 months)
Encourage tummy time to strengthen your baby's neck and upper body muscles. This is vital for later activities like crawling and rolling. Be sure to supervise tummy time to ensure safety.
b. Rolling Over (4-6 months)
Around this age, many babies start rolling over. Provide plenty of floor time for your little one to practice and explore their newfound mobility.
c. Sitting Up (6-8 months)
As your baby's core muscles strengthen, they'll begin to sit up independently. You can support this development by offering a stable, cushioned surface for them to practice sitting.
d. Crawling (7-10 months)
Crawling is a major milestone that enhances brain development and coordination. Create a safe and stimulating environment to encourage crawling.
e. Standing and Walking (9-15 months)
Between 9 and 15 months, most babies begin pulling themselves up to stand and take their first steps. Ensure a safe space for them to explore and practice walking.
3. Supporting Natural Movement
At Compass Chiropractic, we believe in supporting a baby's natural movement patterns. Chiropractic care can play a significant role in ensu
ring that the nervous system is functioning optimally, allowing for smoother motor development and ensuring for development of symmetrical movement! Our focus on nervous system regulation, balance helps baby's to hit motor milestones on time and trouble shoot any irregularities or delays in these movements which can wreak more havoc than just motor function long term.
4. Tips for Parents
Here are some tips to help you nurture your baby's natural movement patterns:
Provide plenty of floor time: Let your baby explore and move freely on the floor. Use soft blankets or playmats to create a comfortable space. This allows for the best environment for you to watch your baby move and for them to explore their own innate movements.
Limit time in baby gear: While baby gear like swings and bouncers can be convenient, avoid overuse. These devices can restrict natural movement. Keep "container" time limited throughout the day (less than 2 hours is ideal!) and try baby wearing when convenient!
Practice baby massage: Gentle massages can help relax your baby's muscles and promote a sense of well-being.
Stay attuned to your baby: Pay close attention to your baby's cues and signals. Each child develops at their own pace, so be patient and supportive. Look for asymmetrical movement patterns or preferences when observing them play on the floor!
Seek professional guidance: Consult with healthcare providers who specialize in pediatric care, like a Neurologically Focused Chiropractor, to ensure your baby's nervous system is functioning optimally.
In conclusion, nurturing your baby's natural movement patterns is a fundamental aspect of their development. Understanding major motor milestones, providing a supportive environment, and seeking professional guidance when needed are essential steps in ensuring your child's optimal growth. Together, we can help your child thrive and reach their full potential.