for­get about strict sched­ules and don’t ex­pect a set rou­tine be­fore six months.”

Your Baby & Toddler - - Feature -

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

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