We know that exercise is important for our health as adults, but did you know that the same philosophy applies to babies? It is recommended that babies should work their muscles at least half-hour each day, although not necessarily all at once. Here are basic exercises that you can do with your baby, to stretch and tone the muscles:
With your baby on his tummy, roll a ball in his direction so he has to extend his arms to grasp the ball and then roll it back to you. Alternately, you could sit facing each other with your feet bottoms touching and roll the ball back and forth, stretching in the process.
If your baby is trying to stand, encourage him by making him want to move towards you. Make sure you do this within the safety of a crib or on well-padded baby bedding. Play with a toy to get his attention and then re-position yourself on the other side of the crib or bed to get him to come to you. You can also make the stretching motion yourself and show him what it looks like when you stand up.
Your infant’s attempts to crawl are naturally going to help him exercise his little body since he will work hard to push himself forward with his arms and legs. Motivate him to move by clapping your hands and motioning your child to come towards you. You can also use a noise-making toy to grab his attention.
Toddlers require a more advanced activity like jumping to help practice motor skills. You can make a line on your carpet using a folded piece of construction paper and help your baby hop from one side to the other. To add to the excitement, make up rhyming tunes as you go or listen to music.