6 Oct 2022 | 6 min Read
Author | 759 Articles
Like older children, babies and toddlers require adequate physical activity to maintain their health. In fact, exercising and light physical activity can help promote your baby’s overall growth and development. It also enables children to start leading an active lifestyle from a young age. For babies below the age of six months, parents may try assistive exercises and thereafter teach them in relevant ways as they grow older.
To make things easier, we have rounded up easy and effective exercises for babies that help make your little one stronger, and also boost their overall health and development.
Before we jump into exercises for babies, let’s find out why your little one needs physical movement in the first place.
Baby exercises help your little one try different body movements and explore their surroundings better. It also provides them with the following benefits:
Besides the physical benefits, regular exercise also contributes to your baby’s cognitive development. Additionally, playing and exercising regularly with parents, siblings, and other family members could also improve your baby’s senses and language skills.
Exercise requirements vary depending on your baby’s age. There are a handful of stage-specific exercises that help in the growth and development of your baby at a particular age.
This is a popular exercise that keeps your baby active when awake. Tummy time is helpful for your baby’s development as it strengthens the bones and muscles that they need to sit and crawl.
You must encourage this activity only when your baby is awake, and do not leave your little one unsupervised. Start tummy time as early as three or four weeks of age and have at least 30 minutes of active tummy time daily and gradually increase the duration as your little one grows older.
Your baby’s grasp reflex, aka palmer reflex, is a primary reflex that develops in the womb. However, this reflex tends to disappear around the age of six months. But don’t worry, as movements such as gripping the finger, or reaching and grasping the toys can help your baby exercise their palmer grasp, leading to improved fine motor skills. Additionally, it could help your munchkin learn more about textures as they hold and feel different objects in their hand.
This activity is an extension or an advanced version of the grasping exercise for your baby. Once your baby learns to grasp their toys and objects better, encourage them to lift those objects.
You can start the exercise when your baby is around three or four months of age. Place some objects in front of your baby to encourage this movement. If your baby seems confused, demonstrate the activity a few times. You can further encourage them by showing appreciation when they successfully lift or pick up their toys.
Many parents cycle their baby’s legs to relieve them from discomfort caused by constipation, colic, or gas. This exercise is also beneficial for your baby’s knees, joints, hips, and abdominal muscles. It also helps improve the flexibility of their legs.
You can do this exercise during your baby’s massage time as well. Take a few drops of BabyChakra’s nourishing baby massage oil, apply it gently to their legs and abdomen, and then move their legs up and down in a motion that resembles the pedalling of a bicycle. BabyChakra’s nourishing baby massage oil contains a blend of unique plant-based ingredients like moringa oil, vitamin E, and almond oil to nourish your baby’s skin, and also strengthen their bones and muscles.
You can also use BabyChakra’s organic coconut oil for babies, which is formulated with 100% virgin and cold-pressed coconut oil that soothes your little one’s skin and heals skin rashes and irritation while strengthening their muscles and joints. Your baby will love this activity and you can even converse with them in coos and smiles.
This exercise strengthens your baby’s core and leg muscles. You need to lay your baby on their back and keep their legs as straight as possible. Gently move their left toe to touch their right ear, and the right toe to touch their left ear. Make sure to be as gentle as possible and move their legs within the natural range of motion without any excessive force.
This exercise is extremely beneficial for babies who have just started crawling. Arrange a few pillows in the form of a hill on a secure area such as the floor. Encourage your baby to crawl over it and to reach for their toys. Make sure to do this regularly to exercise the joints in their hands and legs.
This exercise is similar to adult crunches, except you do all the hard work for your baby. Lay your baby down on their back and grab their arms. Gently pull them into a sitting posture and ensure that their back is upright. Lay them down again. Repeat this a few times a day to strengthen their core and abdominal muscles.
Exercises for babies are essential for their overall physical development and also aid in strengthening their muscles. But make sure to choose the exercise based on your baby’s age and consult your child’s paediatrician before starting physical activity. Additionally, doing exercises with your baby can also serve as a good bonding time for parents. Do not force these movements on them, but gradually include them in your little one’s daily routine.
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Suggestions offered by doctors on BabyChakra are of advisory nature i.e., for educational and informational purposes only. Content posted on, created for, or compiled by BabyChakra is not intended or designed to replace your doctor's independent judgment about any symptom, condition, or the appropriateness or risks of a procedure or treatment for a given person.