One of the reasons I started Babies First Fitness was because I believe parents who have their children in therapy with pediatric therapists are at an advantage when it comes to learning developmentally appropriate exercises. I wanted to bring these exercises to everyone.
In my opinion, as a Pediatric Physical Therapist, there is a best way to pick up baby. As seen in the video, when you roll baby to her side and pick her up from there, you are helping her strengthen the muscles on the side of her body, the side of the neck, the side of the trunk and she is learning to push through the bottom arm, strengthening the shoulder and arm muscles.
One of the primary movement problems that children have now is that they move primarily in one plane, the front and back plane (saggital plane). Babies and children have difficulties with side to side muscle movement and rotational movement. This simple exercise, done every time you pick up baby, helps baby to strengthen the muscles on her side, making her neck, trunk and arms stronger.
Here are the steps:
. Every time you pick up baby place your hands on the side of her trunk
. Roll baby to her side
. Gently press your top hand down toward the ground as you lift the bottom hand up lifting the baby
. As the baby gets stronger, she will help you more and more, first with her head, then trunk, then arms. Be sure to wait and allow the baby time to activate her muscles
. Next time you pick up baby, do the other side
You can start this as soon as you are comfortable controlling your baby’s head, some people are comfortable at 2 weeks, others at 6 weeks. The younger the baby is, the higher your hands on her trunk. If your baby is older, it is never too late to start!
For more developmental ideas for your little one, like this page and check out babiesfirstfitness.com.