Sitting, crawling, standing

Babies progress from learning to sit well to leaning forward into a crawling position. They will learn to pull themselves up into a standing position to cruise along furniture, and some babies will even begin walking before age one. 

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Movement development for babies: on the move
Movement development for babies: on the move
Setting up your indoor environment for movement
Setting up your indoor environment for movement

Development:

From 6-12 months babies will be on the move! Encourage movement and exploration in a safe and stimulating environment to develop muscle strength.  Provide plenty of opportunities to move and play in different environments. Babies will learn a lot on their own. There does not need to be structured ‘teaching’.

Tummy time continues to be an important daily activity during this age to develop the head and neck control and upper body strength needed for crawling. Babies will become a lot more independent in their movement as they learn to sit, crawl, stand and some may even take their first steps.

Though the timing will vary from baby to baby, the order that the milestones occur will remain similar. Babies must achieve head control before they are able to work on sitting or walking

Active Play

Active play is a great way to encourage all aspects of a baby's development including movement development. Active play will strengthen the muscles for movements such as crawling, pulling to stand and walking.

Sitting up without support gives babies a new outlook on life. Once they’ve mastered this skill, they will eagerly move on towards crawling. Toys placed just out of reach will motivate them to lunge forward and discover ways to move along the floor. Object permanence develops at this age, so hiding games are fun. And playing with balls is a great activity at this age. Light balls are fun for rolling and tossing with a caregiver. Some babies will show readiness to stand and even begin walking. Walker toys that baby can hold onto and push across the room are perfect for this stage.

Tummy time:

Tummy Time continues to be important and by six months babies should be more comfortable in this position and even prefer it as their strength increases. Being on their tummy allows them to move and explore better.

Tips for tummy time:

  • Try lying on the ground with them playing peek-a-boo or hiding toys under a rug for them to discover
  • Use mirrors so that baby can see themselves – this encourages them to lift their head
  • Encourage them to roll and move while on tummy, use musical rattles and interesting toys placed around them

KIDDO activity suggestions:

Mirror Mirror

Aeroplane

Exercise Ball Tummy Time

Crawling

 Crawling is an important developmental milestone for all children.  Regular tummy time as a baby will build neck, head and upper body strength to allow a baby to crawl. There is no hurry in babies learning to sit, stand or walk, focus instead on providing an environment and experiences that encourage the development of crawling.

 Activities to encourage crawling:

  • Place interesting objects just out of reach
  • Get down on all fours with the baby and crawl around with them
  • Place the baby on all fours
  • Make obstacle courses for baby to crawl through, around and over, using boxes, chairs and cushions
  • Play hide and seek and chasey

KIDDO activity suggestions:

Clean up the Rubbish

Catch the Bubbles

Teddy Hide and Seek

Sitting:

Avoid sitting too soon, there is no hurry, focus instead on playing on the floor on the baby’s tummy and back. This will help develop the strength needed for crawling.

Movement activities you can do while baby is sitting:

  • Encourage baby to clap hands
  • Roll a ball back and forwards with baby
  • Throw beanbags or soft toys
  • Place toys just in front of baby to encourage them to get down on all fours and crawl to them
  • Sing movement songs together – shake hands and arms, wiggle and move around

KIDDO activity suggestions:

Playing with Balls

Active Movement Songs

Pulling to stand & cruising:

Pulling to standing position and cruising are important developmental milestones that happen before walking. Cruising is when a child holds onto an object such as the edge of a table and uses it as a support to walk. Once a child is able to stand encourage them to start squatting down to pick up objects and then stand again.

Activities to encourage standing and cruising:

  • Set-up standing height play tables with interesting objects or toys on them such as cars or building blocks
  • Have safe low lying furniture available for the child to pull up on and cruise around
  • Place objects on the low lying furniture for the child to collect or knock onto the floor – demonstrate first how to do it
  • Provide stable push along toys such as doll prams, trolleys or wagons or even just a box to push around to encourage movement and walking
  • Place small balls or objects on the ground for them to collect and place in a bucket at standing height
  • Dance, sing and move while standing

KIDDO activity suggestions:

Movement stations

Clean up your rubbish - babies

 

 

References

Australian Government Department of Health (2017). Australian 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years (birth to 5 years): An integration of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 8 January 2020 from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/F01F92328EDADA5BCA257BF0001E720D/$File/Birthto5years_24hrGuidelines_Brochure.pdf.

 

Gallahue, D.L., Ozmun, J.C., & Goodway, J.D. (2012). Understanding motor development: Infants, children, adolescents, adults (7th edn). New York: McGraw Hill.