Babies need exercise to strengthen their muscles. According to experts, being confined to a stroller or infant seat for long can hinder your child’s physical and mental growth.
Following is a list of simple and engaging exercises for babies. Exercises have to be followed depending on baby’s age and development.
Stretching arms and legs: Once your baby is a month old, you can stretch its arms and legs. Place your baby on a mat, facing you. Hold your baby’s arms and in a gentle massaging motion, open the arms to the sides and stretch them. Repeat the action for the legs in the forward direction. You can do 4-5 sets of this exercise.
Crisscrossing arms: Stretch your baby’s arms and move them over each other to crisscross on the chest.
Bicycle action for legs: Place your baby on a mat, facing you. Stretch your baby’s legs and start moving them gently, in a motion similar to riding a bicycle. Repeat the exercise 3-4 times. This exercise strengthens the leg and stomach muscles.
Lifting using finger clutch: As your baby reaches 3 months, you can start exercising the back muscles. Place your baby on a mat, facing you. Let your baby hold two of your fingers. Gently lift your baby 1 or 2 inches off the mat. Put your baby back gently on the mat.
Neck strengthening: Hold your baby vertically, close to your chest. Let your baby lift its head for a few moments. This strengthens the neck muscles of your baby. Ensure that you are providing support to the head and neck while doing this.
On the tummy: Once your baby is 3 months old or has rolled over, you can place your baby face down on a mat. It will try to lift the head, hands and feet off the mat. This exercise will strengthen your baby’s back and neck muscles.
Touching the toe to the ear: This exercise can be done with babies aged 6 months and above. Place your baby with its back on a mat. Hold one foot and stretch it slowly towards the opposite ear. Bring it back to normal position. Repeat with the other leg.
Sitting position: Hold the forearms of your baby and slowly pull it into a sitting position. Put the baby back on the mat gently. You can this repeat exercise up to 4 times.
Standing position: Once your baby starts trying to stand, you can slowly start this exercise to strengthen the leg muscles. Hold your baby in a standing position on a mat. Support your baby by holding the arms and let your baby stand for a few moments.
Climbing: Once your baby is comfortable in the standing position, let it try and start climbing on your body. Provide strong support by holding the forearms while doing this.
Exercise time is also a fun way of bonding with your child. Babies love this time together with their parents.