Studies show that regular exercise in childhood increases the chances of staying active and thus healthy in adulthood. Many paediatricians will tell you that starting early with activities not only helps with physical fitness but also emotional and mental wellness.
A few years ago, researchers from the department of psychology at the University of Illinois conducted a study that indicates, activity and brainpower are linked. Now we’re not suggesting your baby needs to start walking early or be put through rigorous mental testing but there are certainly fun activities that babies can engage in that contribute to their growth development both physically and mentally,
Here’s a look at some activities you might want to consider based on age:
- Clap-a-long – this is an easy activity that calls for mom or dad to hold baby’s hands and simply clap them together as music is playing in the background. Some parents find that their baby responds best to the clapping when they sing along with the music and make facial expressions.
- Mobiles – hang colourful mobiles above baby’s crib and point to different parts of it to ignite visual stimulation. Among Li’l Niblets baby mobiles you will find Tiny Love Meadow Days Soothe ‘n Groove mobile and it’s a perfect example. It keeps babies through to toddler age enthralled with six different musical categories and colourful buttons that enable them to activate music on their own. Medical scientists say bright colors appeal to babies and young children because their eyes are not fully developed yet and the colors stand out to them more in their field of vision.
Communications - as you carry out everyday chores like dressing, feeding and bathing your baby, talk out loud about what you are doing. Recent research conducted at Stanford University suggests that talking to our kids from birth boosts their brainpower and prepares them for success at school.
- Rolling & Pivoting – lots of parents marvel at the sight of their baby rolling over for the first time without really thinking about it as exercise. Encouraging baby to do repeated rolling from back-to-tummy and placing toys around him or her to encourage pivoting can be really good exercise.
- Reading – while you may think babies don’t understand when you read stories to them at this age, it can still be a good mental exercise for them as they listen to language, watch your expressions and even try to mimic the motion of your mouth. It can also be good to allow baby to touch and feel the pages of a book because it is an early dexterity exercise. Li’l Niblets carries a wide selection of books that are drool proof and chewable so you don’t have to worry about your baby consuming something toxic if he or she decides to try biting the books.
- Sensations and sounds – Let your baby touch different fabric and textures. This helps with dexterity and it awakens their curiosity. If you have toys that make sounds or light up, encourage a lot of play with them. Having to push a button or move apart is considered good exercise at this age.
- Kicking – while it may seem odd to be encouraging kicking, if your baby is laying out on a table or bed getting changed, once he/she has a clean diaper on, take him/her by the feet and move the legs back and forth repeating “kick, kick, kick” over and over again. Before long, the baby will be kicking and exercising his/her legs without your help.
Now that we’ve pointed out a few helpful activities for babies, I bet you could come up with your own to encourage your baby’s development and wellbeing.