Get Your Baby’s Motor Running
Motor skills are all about your baby being in motion. From the day your baby was born, you have seen them move. First, in ways not quite controlled. Then, as they grow, in very purposeful movements in which they are actively seeking something in particular (most often the item that is “just out of reach” that they shouldn't have anyway!).
Motor skills are defined in two ways: gross motor and fine motor.
- Gross motor is the term used to describe large body movements.
- Fine motor skills define small body movements.
Examples of major motor milestones include:
Large motor skills:
- Rolling over (babies generally roll over anywhere between 2 and 6 months)
- Sitting (babies generally sit up between the ages of 7 to 9 months)
- Crawling (babies may crawl as early as 6 months and some not until after they are a year old)
- Pulling up (babies will generally begin pulling up soon after they have mastered the skills of sitting up and/or crawling)
- Walking (most babies acquire this skill between the ages of 9 and 13 months)
Small motor skills:
- Grabbing/holding onto items (you may notice that around 3 months, your baby begins to reach out – eventually they will grab, hold, and then begin to manipulate items).
How can you support your baby's motor development?
- Provide ample time for explorations (although bouncy chairs and swings are convenient, your baby needs plenty of floor time to explore their world).
- Make safety the #1 priority. Always be conscientious of the environment, looking for objects which may pose a risk if your baby should happen to grab, crawl, or roll into or onto them.
- Give them incentive. Your kind words, a non-breakable (child-friendly) mirror, or a favorite toy may be the perfect “reward” to encourage your baby's movements.
- Be patient and supportive. Just like the wait you endured during pregnancy to see your child, your baby's development may seem like a slow, but steady, process. Enjoy every moment. Before long, your baby is bound to be a walking, talking machine.