Movement is defined as the act of getting from one place or position to another,
to progress or to be in motion. Human beings are on the move all the time. When
baby is in utero, fetal movements are necessary to enable us to know the baby’s
general condition. Baby’s activity or movement is also observed to assess baby’s
condition the first few minutes after birth.
From then on, baby will naturally and need to continue to move; initially
involuntary to gradually more defined controlled purposeful movements. These
movements are part of baby’s gross and fine motor development.
The need to protect baby from harm is a natural instinct from parents and
caregivers. A balance need to be struck. To encourage and ensure baby continue
to develop physically and confidently, he needs opportunity and space.
Starting right will give all parties the space, opportunity and confidence so greatly
valued. To begin with, always encourage baby to play on the floor. Never leave
baby unattended even for a second on the sofa or changing table. One cannot fall
or roll off the floor but can easily roll off the bed or the sofa. A week old baby has
been known to have fallen off the sofa.
Having diaper and swaddle free time when baby is awake is a start for very young
babies. Creating an interesting and safe place on the floor for baby to move from
day one will encourage baby to play right and relieve parenting stress. This can
easily be achieved by placing a thick rug on the floor with some colourful toys
hanging over baby’s head. Baby may appear uninterested initially but he will
quickly grow into it. The space and toys can then be expanded as baby grows.
As baby becomes mobile, childproofing is very much a necessity. Many parents
tend to think that as long as there is someone watching over the child,
childproofing the house can take a step back. A child must always be supervised,
whether eating or playing. However, children also need the space and confidence
to explore and develop unrestricted. Childproofing the house will reduce stress
and build confidence for all parties involved.
To childproof the house, get down on your tummy and crawl like a baby would.
Then run and jump about like an audacious child. Every room in the house needs
to be childproofed. See and explore the world from baby’s/ child’s perspective
and never underestimate baby’s / child’s ability to surprise us adults.
Childproofing should start as soon as baby starts to roll and the house should be
still be safe even when baby becomes a preschooler.
Plan and create outdoor physical activities for babies/children. In a tropical
country like ours, there are issues with the heat, sun and mosquitoes. However,
parents are very creative and such minor issues are no parenting obstacles when
the health and wellbeing of their little ones are concerned. So start the New Year
with plenty of movement to move forward. Have fun!