When we had our first child, I was worried about EVERY developmental stage.
Shouldn’t he be rolling over?
Why isn’t he walking?
What if he walks before he crawls?
Out of excitement I jumped the gun a little and wanted him to develop fast. Now after our 4th child, I have finally learned to relax, be patient, and let our children develop when they are ready.
I get questions from parents quite often, who think their children should “already be walking”. It is easy to look around and compare our children to other children who are already on the move. Or compare them to their siblings. We have to remember that every child is different. They will develop and decide to move when they are ready. For the most part, we need not worry. Instead, we want to enjoy every little development and stage.
Here are some GENERAL GUIDELINES for mobile development. Hopefully they provide some piece of mind.
Birth to 3 Months
When babies are first born they don’t know how to tell their muscles that they want to move around. Although they will move arms and legs, turn their heads when they are laying on their backs, and can bring their hands to their mouths, these are responses to their environment, more than they are deliberate movements and commands. For new little ones to develop more advanced motions, they have to build their core strength. This means they need TUMMY TIME. Tummy time should start as soon as you return from the hospital. Put your baby on his/her belly a few times a day. By 3 months, they should spend about 1 hour a day on their tummies. This time can be broken up into increments. Some babies don’t like tummy time. Be sure your baby is awake and has been fed, and if they continue to fight, try putting them across your legs on your lap. That counts also. You will quickly see their strength grow as their raise their little heads and build their stomach muscles.
3 to 5 Months
All about the Head
At this age babies have started to realize they can move their arms and legs. The tummy time has helped them develop their core and they will most likely be holding their heads up or even trying to rest their heads on their forearms now and again. They love attention for their movements and will respond to positive reinforcement. There is increased hand eye coordination and you will probably catch them trying to “swing” at objects that hang above them. During these months, lots of babies will also start to roll. Front to back is always the easiest, and most likely what you will see first. Followed by back to front. You don’t want to leave little ones unsupervised because you never know when they will start to roll. You don’t want them to fall off the bed or the couch.
5 To 8 Months
Time to Sit Up
About this time, babies are starting to sit up on their own. Especially if you put them in a high chair. When you put them on the floor without back support, they will usually lean forward and use their hands to keep their balance. Between 7 and 8 months, most babies sit unassisted.
These months might also bring the Army Crawl. Using their forearms to drag themselves across the floor. Don’t be alarmed to see your little one find their own way of moving. There is no right or wrong way of doing things. Forward, backwards, one armed, it doesn’t matter. Give positive reinforcement and praise. The positive things we say will inspire our children to keep learning to move. Be sure you keep small objects out of your babies way, and that electrical outlets etc, are safe from little fingers.
8 To 12 Months
Up On Their Feet
Around 9 months, most children are crawling on their hands an knees. Have you ever heard that a baby should crawl before they walk, or something is wrong with them? Not true. Crawling helps babies become stronger so they can eventually walk, but there are lots of ways for them to become strong. Pulling themselves up to a standing position, standing and walking while holding someones hand, and balancing on their own once they have pulled up. All these things build strength. This age is a great time to invest in a good pull toy. It will help your child’s balance and control as they begin to walk on their own. It is also a good time to get down to your child’s level and see what they see. Are there any sharp corners that their heads will run into while they are walking?
12 To 15 Months
By this point, most little ones are walking, and trying to climb up onto things. It is a good time to teach them what they should climb on and what they shouldn’t. Setting these guidelines early will help make the next few years a lot easier for everyone. It is also a good time to teach kids to hold hands. As silly as this may sound, if you want your child to hold your hand when you cross streets, or go places, teach them young. It will help you avoid the hand holding fights later on. Play lots of new games and activities that let your kids move and groove.
We don’t want to compare, or put excess pressure on our children when it comes to mobility. They will get moving, in their own time. Remember, if you do have any concerns about your child’s development, consult your pediatrician.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STAGE? CRAWLING, WALKING, ROLLING OVER?
DO YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR KID’S MOBILE DEVELOPMENT?