Early action: kicking, reaching, rolling and tummy time

Very young infants spend most of their waking time exploring ways to move their their ams and legs. They learn to kick, reach for and grab toys, roll onto their tummies and push up on their arms.  This early activity strengthens muscles and is the start of coordinating the trunk and limbs and get them ready for learning to sit and crawl.

Lets get kicking

Active infants kick vigorously  and start to push down with their feet on the lying surface. They learn to keep the trunk steady as they move their legs. Lifting up their legs is important for developing the tummy muscles and pushing down with the feet starts to develop the back muscles. 

Less active infants may need extra encouragement to get them moving, kicking and bridging.

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Hands together, reaching and grabbing  

Young infants quickly discover their hands and learn to use them for feeling their clothes, reaching and grabbing. This early action is important for developing coordination being looking and reaching.

Infants who are born prematurely, and those with hypermobility sometimes develop tightness in the shoulder muscles and may need some extra help to get them to bring their hands together in the midline and reach forwards to get at interesting objects. 

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Learning to roll

Active infants learn to roll from their backs onto their tummies at about 6 months. Infants born prematurely and those with hypermobility often do not learn to roll until much later, especially if they do not like being on their tummies. 

There are a few things you can practice to help your infant learn to roll. 

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Tummy time without tears

Lying face down on the tummy, lifting up the head and pushing up on the arms are all very important activities that young infants need to master.  There are many ways to achieve these skills that do not lead to tears and frustration. 

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