Keeping your baby active with playing and movement is important for their development
Baby moves - why it's important for all little ones to be lively and active
Being active takes brain and muscle power so it plays an important part in your baby's development. As they grow, you can help them by playing with them and helping them make new movements and explore their surroundings. Most of all you can help them by making sure they can move around freely, easily and safely.
Once your child can walk without holding on to something, try to keep them moving for at least 180 minutes (that's three hours), spread throughout the day.
Babies that watch too much TV will get less chance to be active, so try and reduce the time they spend in front of the telly or other screens. Why not try some of the ideas below?
Ideas for active play
Cuddles and wiggles
Even very little babies can be active! Getting them out of their cot or rocker for a cuddle or a game of peek-a-boo is a great way of getting them to interact and move their muscles. They also love to kick their legs and wiggle about so make sure they have enough space when they lie down.
Singing and talking
Babies love being sung or talked to, and spending time with your baby is an important part of their development. So sing a song or nursery rhyme, clap their hands or rock them to the rhythm.
Whether it’s with toys, mum, dad, or friends, any form of play helps babies to interact, even when they are tiny. Reaching for, pulling and pushing toys or other objects are all simple ways to stimulate your baby and improve their coordination.
Putting babies on their tummies gives them a different view of the world! They'll learn to roll over, and will start to try to crawl towards the things that catch their eye.
Parent and baby swim sessions
Most swimming pools have separate areas or times for parents with babies or toddlers. Babies will love the feel of being in the water, as well as gentle play or splashing in the pool. Just like adults, they use different muscles in the water so it's good for their development too.
It’s the first time your baby has the chance to explore, and the living room is an exciting place to be. Make some space for them to explore their surroundings safely.
Practice makes perfect, and it’s an important part of growing up, so it’s good to try and make sure your baby is free to have a toddle when they get the urge. Let them try walking with you, rather than using the buggy.
Things to watch out for
Baby moves make for a happy, healthy baby, so it’s important to make sure they are free to move their bodies. Here are some things to watch out for:
Babies like moving about, but sometimes they can’t. They might be strapped into a rocker or pushchair, or perhaps their clothes are too small or big, making it difficult for them to move around. Watch out for your baby looking fidgety, and give them some room to move around.
Rockers, walking aids and baby bouncers
These are all useful for busy mums, but babies who are strapped into them don’t get the freedom to move around properly. Try making a space for them to crawl or wriggle – do stay with your baby though to make sure they are safe.