MOVEMENT: HOW YOU CAN HELP
forget about strict schedules and don’t expect a set routine before six months.”
PLAY WITH YOUR BABY Movement is important for brain development, says Carina van der Westhuizen, an occupational therapist from Krugersdorp.
“The more a baby moves, the more his senses are stimulated, which in turn broadens his knowledge of the world. Movement is very important for sensory stimulation. Carrying, swinging, rocking and turning stimulates the senses and is important at a later stage for balance, planning and organisation.”
While your baby moves, various neurological pathways are fostered, which the brain then recalls at a later stage.
As soon as gross motor skills are well developed, the focus can move to the development of fine muscles of the hands and fingers, Carina says. ● Place your baby on his side, and roll his whole body forward onto his tummy or back onto his back. Do it a couple of times and then leave him to see if he can roll by himself. ● You can also try it later, when he’s on his back. Remember always to roll baby onto both sides. ● Crawling is very important for development, balance, bilateral integration and crossing of the midline. Place your baby across your thigh, and help him carry his weight on his hands. Put some toys out for him to reach out to. ● If your child starts putting weight on his hands, you can put his feet in the crawling position. Let him rock back and forth across your leg. ● Build a course for your child once he starts crawling with objects that he needs to crawl over or under. This is important for spatial planning. YB