You may have received a bag of oval links at your baby shower from mother exclaiming “These are the best things ever!” You look at her with a puzzled look thinking, “How?”
Links are a great way to encourage your infant to be more active by bringing toys down to him. Use the links in combination with your baby gym. Link the ovals together until they are on the baby’s chest or near his hands. Place baby’s favorite rattle at the end of the links, or… simply use the links themselves at the end. As your baby moves his arms randomly, he will inevitably touch the links causing the chain to move. This will gain his attention visually and he will move his head toward the visual stimulation. This activity strengthens the neck muscles and trunk muscles in preparation for independent head control as well as strengthens the arm muscles in preparation for active and accurate reaching.
If it is too difficult for your child to lift his arms off the ground when you do this activity, place him in a boppy pillow laying under the play gym, this will make it easier for him to lift his arms and contact the links.
When is the best time to start this activity? You can start a few weeks after baby’s birth, when he is alert enough for some play time!
For more suggestions on promoting gross motor skills for your little one, like this page and check out Babies First Fitness on Facebook.