Food, clothing, a safe place to sleep, love, exercise. Exercise? Yes, exercise! How your

baby learns to control and coordinate her body sets the stage for all of her further development.


Your infant is "exercising" when she looks around, listens, feels and smells the air, as well as when she has the freedom to reach, grasp, and twist her body. For her first weeks of life, your baby does not need much space, but her safe play area should grow as she does.


Your baby's physical development can't take place without exercising her body, even as a newborn. Now is the time that her brain is developing connections to her muscles. If she enjoys exercise as a baby, she's more likely to be more active as an adult. That's not only because it is a learned behavior, though it can be, but also because her brain has incorporated the physical skills that make exercise more fun.

Brain Science for Your Baby


Research has found that if babies are placed on their backs to sleep, there is a decreased risk that they will die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  The American Academy of Pediatrics started the "Back to Sleep" campaign in 1992.  Since then, half as many babies die from SIDS as died before the campaign.  So, putting your baby to sleep on his back will decrease his risk of SIDS!   Babies also like being on their backs during the day.  Infants are learning how their bodies work. The position that allows your baby the most mobility is on his back.   


However, babies also need "tummy time".   Since the "Back to Sleep" campaign started - child development experts have discovered that putting babies to sleep on their backs is associated with a delay in motor milestones and with flattening of the back or side of the head.


So - when your baby is awake, he needs some daily "tummy time" too.  Infants placed on their tummies have to use muscles that are needed for motor milestones like head control, pulling up, reaching, and crawling.  Some babies don't like being on their tummies very much, but it's important to your baby's motor skill development.  Consider it baby exercise.  Try placing a preferred toy where your baby can see it and work to reach it!

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

By the time your baby is about five months old, if you let her balance her feet on your thighs, she'll bounce up and down. Bouncing may likely be a favorite activity over the next couple of months!


Provide your baby with simple objects that she can use creatively in multiple ways.Create a safe, stimulating space for your baby to sleep and play with a few simple toys and objects for her to kick and move with her arms and legs. Examples include: balls of all sizes, large plastic chains or rings, stacking cups, and simple baby dolls.  


Play-time (exercising!) may seem boring! Babies are self-learners and what they truly need is the time, freedom and trust to just "be." It's easy to forget that every detail of the world is new and stimulating to your baby - every shape, contrast, sound, even the slightest movement is fascinating. Life is a playground to "exercise" in, by reaching, grasping, and kicking!  

A baby Buffer Prescription for You   


Limit babies' screen time. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, infants and toddlers should limit the time spent in front of televisions, computers, self-described educational games and even being exposed to grown-up shows playing in the background.  


Video screen time provides no educational benefits for children under age 2, the Academy experts say, and leaves less room for activities that do, such as interacting with other people and playing.


How do you find time to exercise as a new parent? Try doing exercises, with your baby nearby watching you (or sleeping!), to help you gain strength, muscle and a happier mood.  Talk to your baby while you're taking care of you to entertain you both! (NOTE: Be sure to check with your physician to ensure that it is safe for you to do these exercises.) 

What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Your baby will love being held and touched by you from the very beginning, this is the beginning of your relationship with your baby. Click on the links below to find out what your baby should be able to do:

Gene's Research Tip!

Is TSK (That Special Kid) "on the job"?  If he or she seems to be playing a lot, then YES! Playing is TSK's job, and we hope he/she makes a great career of it, during these first few years!


Thinking is a complicated process, and involves lots of brain areas.  Some brain areas can't think as hard or as fast until TSK gets older, but, YOU, the parent can help that brain by the way you play with TSK. 


The science behind Playing and Brain Development:

Input: Information gets into the brain by the senses: Vision, Hearing, and Touch

Processing: The information goes all over the brain to processing centers to be understood and combined with emotions and other memories

Output: The actions, words and thoughts that TSK has developed from the experience.  These are generally divided into the following:

  • Muscle Activities - The "Doing Stuff" (Gross Motor- the big muscles, and Fine Motor - the fingers and hands)
  • Language - "The Talking Things"
  • Emotional-Social - "The Feeling and Behavior Parts" 

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