Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Exercises for Babies!

One thing that I enjoy (and Daniel loves!) is the baby exercises we do every day. These are some simple moves that have a few different benefits. They calm a potentially fussy baby, relieve some gas, strengthen his neck, leg and arm musciles and aim to teach him to roll, crawl and balance. Plus, he absolutely loves them!

Leg Strength and Gas Relief
RunRunRun! (or Bicycle).
This is usually where we start, especially if he's being fussy and we want to make him smile. Taking an ankle in each hand, we help him "run". He might keep his legs locked at first, so you can lift tap his knees and they will usually bend. Then "runrunrun!" 

Eat Your Toes
It's exactly what it sounds like. After running, we bring his legs together and by the calves guide his feet to his mouth. Babies are so flexible, so this is something that he'll do on his own eventually anyway. But, in addition to giving him a bit of exercise, it is Very Effective at producing a toot. And, when you get a toot every time you bring his feet up to his mouth, it's quite hilarious.

With his feet back down on the bed, tap the bottoms and make him kick or stomp up and down on your hands. This is another crowd pleaser, as he loves it and smiles like crazy, which pleases us to no end. 

Sitting Up
Honestly, these are sit ups. You hold his hands in your hands, and help slowly pull himself up into a sitting position. You can either hold it for a few seconds, do a few more sit-ups the same way... or have him try his hand at balancing himself. You will likely have to help him balance by holding his hands, but we've found that he's gotten increasingly better at holding his frame by himself for a few seconds to a half minute.  

Rolling and Crawling
-I don't know if this is common, but our son has very strong legs but hasn't even attempted to roll yet. He outright hates tummytime, but that's mostly our fault because we didn't want to anger him more during the colic days and ignored it for a spell. But, the next exercise kind of tricks him onto his tummy, and helps him learn how to crawl and propel himself forward.

While on his back, take each forearm in your hands and act as though he is in a boxing match. Gently doing this will help him roll back and forth along his back, and at a certain point you take one arm and roll him over, keeping his arms up in front of his head (so he is now in the crawling position).
At this point, if he isn't like ours and hasn't figured out that he is on his tummy against his will, you put his hands up in front of his face, and then put your hands behind his tucked in legs. Encourage him to push against your hands by tapping the bottoms of his feet. He should push them out, and therefore propel himself forward. 
Whatever you do, be sure you are gentle and err or the side of caution. 
Take the exercises slow and the strengths and weaknesses of your baby into consideration. And of course you can take these to your babies doctor and ask what they would recommend or change for your baby.

So tell me...
Did you have an exercise regimen for you baby?
Are there any other 'moves' that you would recommend?

Here's what I wrote for the letter "E" in 2014:
Entertaining Guests
I have always admired people who throw extravagant dinner parties. Creating a beautiful menu, with the plates matching the tablecloth, and everyone having a grand old time.

Not always reality, am I right?... Click the link to read the rest...
This post was brought to you by the A-Z Challenge:

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