Hi everyone! I recently have started a series on my Instagram page on gross motor milestones. It is broken up by month, and I have shared ways to play at each month as well to promote motor milestones. These are only guidelines for typically developing children, meant for educational purposes, and there are ranges for every major milestone. If there is a month that your child isn't doing EXACTLY what it says they should, don't worry! Every child is different and unique, and as some children start walking at 12 months, others don't start until 17 months! Here are motor milestones for 0-2 month olds.
If you would like more information on each month, head on over to my Instagram page and check out my story highlights, where I provide even more info by video and ways to play at each month!
Newborn (0 months)
Help! I just brought my baby home- what should they be doing? The truth is that your newborn will not be doing much at this point, and that is typical!
Tummy: on their tummy, they will demonstrate lots of flexion, and keep arms and legs tucked in close to their body. A good option for tummy time at this age is against your chest. You may see them rotate their head to the other side but will not have a whole lot of head control yet.
Back: on their back, their head will not stay in line with their body, so you may see it tilt or rotate one way or another. This is okay as long as it is not tilting or rotating consistently to one side and not the other.
Sitting: when placed in sitting, their head will fall forward and their trunk will be rounded. I do not usually recommend practicing this position with your child until they have good head control and can prop themselves on their hands (stay tuned for these milestones!).
Your baby is 1 month old! Woohoo! What changes here?
Tummy: on their tummy, they may lift their chin just briefly, demonstrating improved head control! They also may not be as flexed as last month and extend their arms and legs a little more.
Back: able to turn their head each direction to look at something, but may still have some difficulty keeping it in the middle. If they consistently look or tilt their head to one side and not the other, consult your pediatrician! If torticollis is present, early intervention is important!
Sitting: looks about the same as last month. Again, I don’t recommend this until you see good head control and they are able to prop themselves up with their hands.
Your baby is 2 months old now! Here are some differences between one and two months.
Tummy: on their tummy, they may lift their chest just briefly as well as their head, but it might not stay in the middle.
Back: able to turn their head each direction pretty well. If they consistently look or tilt their head to one side and not the other, consult your pediatrician! If torticollis is present, early intervention is important!
Sitting: looks about the same as last month but their head might bob because they are trying to hold their head up but not quite strong enough yet. Again, I don’t recommend this until you see good head control and they are able to prop themselves up with their hands.
Popular Toys at this Stage
I share in my Instagram story highlights some popular toys at this stage of life, so I will share them below and why I like them. These are affiliate links, which means that it doesn't cost any extra for you, but I benefit just a little bit from you buying from these links!
Contrast Cards and Books
Here are some contrast cards for your little. I like these because as baby's vision is still developing, they find high contrast toys easier to process at this age. These specific ones are nice because I like anything with a clip, so you wont lose them during a walk!
They also make high contrast books that are great to use! I've used this one before and have enjoyed it, but they also make some others you can check out!
Mirrors are great to use because baby loves looking at faces even more than toys until about 4 months old. This one is great because it stands up by itself and it comes with contrast cards that you can take on the go! It's a good 2-in-1 toy!
Let's talk about the best activity gyms. Your activity gym should last WAY longer than newborn stage. I use parts of activity gyms until babies are crawling, and even standing/walking! How? You just have to find the most versatile one.
This one has so far been my favorite to use. It comes with a prop pillow, which is awesome for tummy time when your baby is extra tired. It has a piano that can be used vertically like shown in the photo and also horizontal. It is great for kicking on the back and playing during tummy time or sidelying. It is detachable and I have used this for sitters, crawlers and even put it on a couch for encouraging standing! The dome part is great to encourage reaching on the back, tummy and even in sitting and hands and knees! It even has a mirror and see high contrast cards included. Talk about multi-functional- THIS IS IT!
If you are looking for more of a trendy, wooden, more visually appealing activity gym, this one is a good option. I don't think it is as multifunctional, but it does fold up and travel well. It makes noise and has lots of teether toys. Again, not my favorite, but an option for more of the Montessori-looking toys.
Stay tuned for 3-6 months, where I will talk about my favorite rattles and items to help with sitting!