Here's how your baby learns to get from here to there.
At first, an infant is content to lie in his crib and just wiggle his little limbs all over. But by his first birthday, he has learned to put his body in motion, and you'll be surprised by how your baby has learned to coordinate and control his movements. Once toddlerhood begins, you may find it hard to remember when this mini dynamo ever sat still!
But baby's abilities don't develop overnight. She'll put a lot of hard work and patience into mastering these motor skills. And as her muscles continue to grow and develop, your little explorer will be spurred by the curiosity to investigate every corner of her room and eventually the whole house. So it's never too early to begin babyproofing.
Baby's quest to gain control begins from the head down. The development of your infant's neck muscles is the first big step in her overall body control. In the first few weeks, your newborn's neck may seem floppy. But if you place baby on her stomach, she'll practice lifting her head for a few moments at a time -- even when she's just a few weeks old. Around the 3-month mark, baby will begin to turn her head from side to side to look at you or a colorful toy. These movements help strengthen baby's neck muscles. By 4 months, your little one should be able to hold up her head while she supports herself on her elbows.
Roll with It
Once baby can lift her head while on her stomach, she's almost ready to roll. By her fifth month, your little one will use her arms to push off, and with some effort she'll start to roll from her stomach to her side. Tummy-to-side rolling is common for babies because they can use their arms and legs to gain momentum.
By 6 months, most babies have gained enough abdominal strength to flip all the way over. Your baby may spend hours flopping from belly to back to belly again. She may even roll across the room as a way to travel. Baby's rolling abilities can be stronger than you think -- so don't forget to keep a firm hold on her, especially on the changing table.
Fun Crawling Fact
A recent study found that babies born in the summer and fall tend to crawl later than those born in the winter and spring. The reason? Summer and fall babies reach crawling age in winter, when they wear more restrictive clothing.
On All Fours, Sitting Pretty
On All Fours
Though baby may now be comfortable getting down on all fours, he may not do much but rock back and forth. With time, however, he will adopt one of the many forms of crawling in order to make his way across the floor.
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