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Motor skills development

Motor skills development

You may not notice every little change, but your baby's little body and mind are constantly growing and developing. Here's how you can help your baby towards major motor development milestones (movements that use large muscle groups).

Reaching One of the earlier motor development milestones is reaching. Your little one will probably begin working on this between four and seven months of age.

How you can help. Blow bubbles in your baby's direction and encourage her to reach for them. Place a favorite toy just slightly out of reach.

Sitting. Many babies are able to sit with support at around six months of age, and may soon move on to sitting without support.

How you can help. Once she can sit for a few moments without toppling over, introduce simple games like clapping or rolling a ball. Keep sessions short – just a few minutes at a time – and always stay close to her. A C-shaped pillow (like as a breastfeeding pillow) can offer some light support.

Crawling. This usually happens between seven and 10 months.

How you can help. As your baby starts to propel herself forward, make sure that the space she explores is safe and supervised. You can also try placing a thin, rolled-up receiving blanket under your baby and demonstrate rocking back and forth on your hands and knees. Rocking is the jump-starter to crawling; before you know it, you'll be chasing her all through the house!

Standing. At around nine to 11 months, your baby may pull herself up to stand. Gradually, she'll improve her muscle strength, balance and coordination until she's able to stand unsupported.

How you can help. Be sure to give your baby unrestrained playtime on the floor everyday. Limit time in seating devices like baby seats and bouncers.

It's in these early months that your baby develops the crucial skills and motions needed to master the complex skills of walking, running, jumping and climbing. Encourage your baby by challenging her to do a little bit more each day. She'll be walking and running before you know it!