July 1, 2020

Get your little moving – early!

Ready to get your little moving? It’s never too early. Here are my exercises for a wide range of early ages.

Get your little moving – early!

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You’ve been home from the hospital for a few weeks now. Everybody is happy and healthy, and you are starting to adjust to the routine of a new born. Your baby, like all other babies, doesn’t do much. So you’re sitting on your phone, maybe looking at all the fun exercises on my Insta, thinking about when you can start working on them with your little.

The thought crosses your mind – is it too early to start working on their gross motor skill development? 

Absolutely not!

There’s always something you can start working on with your kiddo. To make it easy for you, I’ve compiled some of my favorite, age appropriate exercises below for littles anywhere from a week to two old and up!

Find your little one’s age range and see the exercise I recommend. As a reminder, I wouldn’t typically suggest going to an older age bracket exercise, but you can definitely still work on younger age ranged exercises if your kiddo needs it! And, of course, these are not personalized recommendations. You may want to double check with me or another physical therapist/doctor on what would be best for your specific child.

With that said, let’s get started!

Birth – 4 weeks

Work with your little to help them lift their head. Rotate their face on the ground from cheek to cheek. As this typically works best closer to the 6 week range, be sure you are gentle and paying attention to their ability to breathe. Never let your little put their mouth down into the ground.

6 weeks and up

Use sidelying play to help your kiddo play with a toy in midline. I love doing this in front of a mirror with a poppy placed behind their back to keep them in the sidelying position.  For more information on sidelying play, head to the sidelying blog post

8 weeks and up – Superman!

A little more fun, it’s time for a hero! Hold your kiddo in the superman position (arms and legs stretched out like they’re flying). This will help your child strengthen their neck and trunk, preparing them to start sitting and looking around.

Along the same lines, you can simply hold your little faced away from you and coo at them. This will lead them to turn their head as they try to find you, building that neck strength.

Three months – Baby sit ups

Get your little in the gym because it’s time to start grinding! Okay, that’s just a joke – don’t go too hard yet. However, your little can definitely start doing some baby sit ups, great for head control. 

Essentially, pull your little up to a sitting position roughly 5 to 10 times. If the head lags significantly, place your child on your lap and pull up using two fingers on the back of their shoulders. If they actually have decent head control, gently pull them into a sit (2 months and up) using their hands instead of the back of their shoulders. Then wait until their head initiates a tuck before coming to sitting. If you want to watch me demonstrate, head over to the Torticollis blog where I have a great video of the baby sit up in action. 

*You can also start working on these around 8 weeks, but I typically recommend waiting a little longer.

4 months and up – Baby planks

We’re not quite to full on pushups yet, but baby planks will certainly help out your little’s core. Lay your kiddo across your legs, with their belly button placed in the middle of you thigh or even on a rolled up towel.  Place a stationary toy at eye level and encourage reaching to touch toy. These planks will, as mentioned, build core/trunk strength and help as they work on sitting.

These exercises should provide you with a nice framework to start. Remember to build your little’s gross motor development skills early. This can help prevent future issues. Of course, if your kiddo is having trouble, don’t be afraid to reach out for a consultation!

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Gross Motor Checklist

Stress less about your little one's development with our gross motor checklist. It outlines age-appropriate skills for ages 0-5 years old, so you can feel empowered to promote on-track development and advocate for support early!

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