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What activities can I do to foster normal development of my baby?
Age 0-2 Months
To help develop head control, when held at your shoulder:
Hold your baby high enough that s/he can look around
Let your baby raise his/her head, but keep a hand near to support if necessary
Turn your back to a mirror so the baby can see him/herself
Have someone stand behind you and talk to your baby
Walk around so there are new things to see
Tummy time, when awake only. This helps strengthen neck and shoulder muscles. This should be done on a flat surface like a mattress or a covered floor.
Place baby on tummy with the arms forward and elbows in line with the shoulders.
Place a toy 6-8 inches in front of your baby or place your baby in front of a mirror.
Gradually increase tummy time. At first your baby will tire easily.
Hold your baby on his or her tummy while on your lap.
Bring hands together near the face and chest. This helps prepare your baby for reaching and exploring his/her hands.
Position your baby with the arms forward when cradled or when in an infant seat.
Place a finger in each of his/her hands when playing.
Encourage your baby to bring hands together to explore a toy, bottle or your face.
Put a toy with texture on your baby's chest.
Provide some side-lying time with your baby's hands together.
Encourage your baby to grasp toys and other objects. At first your baby will have an automatic grasp. As this reflex goes away, your baby will develop a more purposeful grasp.
Provide opportunities for you baby to grasp things: fingers, rattles, teething type toys.
Provide a toy during diaper change.
Help your baby practice holding on to things one hand at a time. At first your baby will drop toys frequently even if s/he is still interested in them.
If your baby has trouble letting go, gently stroke the back of the hand from wrist to fingers or bend the wrist forward a little to encourage letting go
Learning to roll from tummy to back: With you baby lying on its stomach, get your baby's attention by holding a toy in front of him/her. Then slowly move the toy toward the side and back. As your baby stretches to see the toy, s/he will start to roll.
Help your baby explore his/her feet.
Play with your baby's feet, kiss them, move them and play games with them.
Encourage your baby to find his/her feet with his hands.
Help your baby explore his/her toes with his lips and mouth