Help develop your baby’s motor skills.
Pedal her legs.
Lay your baby on her back, hold her ankles, gently bend her knees into her stomach, and then stretch them out. Make it more fun by saying “in” and “out,” singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and kissing her feet.
With your baby on his back, dangle a toy above him to see if he can grasp it. Move it higher, lower, and to the sides. You can also try toys of varying shapes so he will learn to form his hand into the best position for grabbing. Playing with blocks helps develop fine motor skills as well as language skills because you’ll naturally talk to him as you stack together.
Sit your baby on an exercise ball and hold her securely by the hips. Tilt the ball slowly in different directions so she can learn to shift her weight, which will strengthen her core and improve her balance. As she gets stronger, you can move her at a slightly faster speed.
Help him into a sitting position, and put a toy on the floor close enough for him to reach forward and pick it up. Then move it around so he’ll shift and reach to each side to get it. Trying this with different types of toys lets him practice holding multiple shapes and weights. Be sure the toys are safe: If they fit through a toilet-paper roll, they’re too small and could be a choking hazard.
When your baby starts crawling, block her path with a pillow and encourage her to crawl over it. You might need to entice her by holding a toy on the other side of the pillow. Moving on her hands and knees in different directions will help strengthen her hip, trunk, arm, and shoulder muscles.
Source: Anne Zachry, PH.D., O.T.R., chair of the occupational-therapy department at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis, and author of Retro Baby.