The process of normal development
The more new parents understand what is normal is the more they can relax, encourage, identify and celebrate the achievements of their baby, rather than being consumed by worry about what’s normal and what’s not. When you bring your newborn home, they can immediately commence a small amount of tummy time and time on their back in between feeds. The baby will enjoy being on the floor on their back looking around, hands to their mouth and kicking their legs. Your baby will start to do 360 turns on the floor to begin their development. Rolling from side to side is a developmental success!
Babies will crawl backwards before they crawl forwards; don’t ask me why but they all do it-and don’t be surprised if you find your baby under the couch! Babies need to crawl before they are capable of sitting themselves. Babies will commando crawl and then get up on their all fours and rock. Be prepared for your world to be turned on its head! Now is the time to childproof your home, as they will be taking off soon!
A baby needs to crawl before he walks. Crawling on their hands and knees is important for many levels of development. Crawling plays a major role in the development of an infant’s strength, balance, spinal alignment, visual-spatial skills, and socio-emotional development. A baby will pull themselves up and cruise around the furniture, holding on for dear life! A baby needs around 1000 hours of floor time before they are ready to walk.
When a baby is ready they will stand alone – legs apart and hands held high, a picture of balance. Mother Nature again in all her glory! When ready, a baby will take their first steps. A few tentative steps at first, then plop onto the floor. With balance and courage off they go, and before you know those wobbly first steps have been replaced by running at speed!
The successful Sleep & Settling classes are held on various dates throughout the year, along with monthly Childbirth Education Master Classes for expectant parents. Always check www.midwifecath.com.au for updated times & venues.
At some point in the last decade or two, covering prams with muslin wraps became the norm. Our obsession with how long the baby must sleep during the day encourages mums to ‘de sensitise ’ the babies’ surroundings, hoping he will sleep and not be disturbed by the outside world.
Everywhere you look, there are parents walking their babies, trying desperately to get them to sleep by walking endless kilometers, prams covered by blankets or muslin wraps so the baby does not get ‘stimulated’ -or even get a taste of sun or air on their faces.
Take the blankets and wraps off the prams and let the baby look around! Babies need the sunshine and fresh air- it can get very hot and stuffy under those muslin shades and blankets. You’ll both enjoy the walk more, and best of all, walking without a cover means your baby can see your face, and hear you talk, sing and smile at them. Walk your baby after you have done plenty of feeding, play (tummy time or back time without play gyms or the baby in a bouncer or sitting) then more feeding and playing until your baby is ready to sleep.
There are a lot of other ways to help a baby to sleep other than walking for hours with the pram covered. The baby will sleep in the pram while you are walking without a cover if they’re tired out from playing and well fed. Your baby NEEDS to see your face and look at the world around him. Believe me he will sleep when he wants to, so you might as well enjoy walking your baby, rather than making it a stressful mission to get him to sleep.