Learning To Move – Six To Nine Months

Between six and nine months your baby will develop sufficient control throughout his body to sit and achieve the hands and knees position ready for crawling and playing.

At all stages of your child’s development, play is an integral part of everything he learns. Movement is of course one of the first major achievements a baby masters.

Watching your baby grow and develop is one of the most fascinating aspects of being a parent. Always remember that babies develop and learn to move at different rates and there is a wide variation of what is normal.

Your baby will learn to move through age-appropriate play and exploring his environment. Here’s what you can do to help.

Sitting Up

Babies learn to sit by gaining control of their movement and developing the strength in their muscles to move and support themselves in sitting.

They do not learn to sit by being propped up with pillows in a sitting position, so make sure your baby has plenty of opportunity through play to develop movement.

Infants do not usually sit still for long periods but move from crawling to sitting and vice versa while exploring their environment.
If your baby is taught to sit, instead of learning it himself, his control might be insufficient to allow him to choose between a variety of situations, or to free his hands for play. This could be very frustrating for him.

Time For A Safety Check

At this stage, your baby will want to move around the floor and explore everything. It is time to do a thorough safety check of the entire house.
As babies from six months spend longer periods at play time, it’s a good idea to provide a wide variety of activities – for example, wooden spoons and plastic containers which they can chew, bang and push about.

Other Games

Playing peek-a-boo can be great fun. Cover and uncover your face with your hands or a tea towel while chatting to your baby. This will give him lots of laughs as you surprise him from behind your hands.

Continue looking at picture books and maybe include some action nursery rhymes. Your baby learns all the basics of speech from listening to you talking, so this is very important.

Remember that babies do not learn to sit by being propped. Babies learn to move through the experiences provided by age-appropriate play and exploring the environment around them.

If you have any questions regarding your baby’s movement development, please contact your Early Childhood Health Centre, where you can receive further advice regarding positioning, handling and interaction with your baby.

Read more about 9 months onwards.

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