We've all heard of doing bicycles for your babies to help with gas, but did you know that there are also other benefits that support the gross motor milestones to come?
We like to encourage our parents to do some of the exercises during diaper changes to make it a routine. Now, some of the names of the exercises we do sound like the same stuff we do ourselves at the gym...so you ask...are we trying to give our babies a six pack?!
Our goal is to always think long term when we do exercises with little ones. We want support for head control, rolling over, sitting, crawling, standing, cruising, and walking. Sure every kid eventually walks...but why wait and see when it happens, why not give your child some extra support now?
Infant exercises can help with:
- Bonding: thats extra quality time between you and your baby to make physcial and eye contact.
- Sleep: who doesn't sleep better after being active all day? It's the same for babies, being stimulated and engaged helps them rest longer or easier when its time to sleep.
- Less gas and/or constipation: Have you ever noticed that when you sit on the couch all day, eat and binge watch some show on netflix that your bowel movements have a different consistency that when your active, up and moving? Same goes for our babies.
- Increasing range of motion: muscles and joints require movement! Babies who tend to lay on their back in the same position have a higher chance of having a misshapen head (flattening of their occiput) and tight neck muscles (torticollis).
- Increasing body awareness: stimulating your little one’s senses of touch and proprioception can help them learn about their body and how to move it in deliberate ways.
- Strengthening muscles: when your baby does exercises with you, they will flex their muscles which in turn help strengthen them.
- Building muscle tone: muscle tone allows the babies to stabilize their muscles. This is really important because as infants they rely on muscle tone to help stabilize their head during tummy time and as they grow and sit up.