Category Archives: Physical

Is my baby ready to start crawling?

As with any other developmental milestone, crawling can happen within a certain range of time, usually between 6-10 months of age. However, every baby is different and develops at his or her own pace. Crawling might be a bit more challenging for heavier babies because of the extra body weight they have to carry, so they might take a little more time to accomplish this milestone. Also, other babies might skip crawling all together; they might find other skills more interesting and want to explore the world through other kinds of movement. This said, if you have any concerns about your little one’s physical development, you should talk to your pediatrician about it.

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Ready, set, go: A journey of my child’s physical skills

Since he is born, you and your child will embark on a journey that will go from him grabbing your finger to climbing on the playground. Your child will astound you with his every day achievements and, as you move through the stops on this journey, you’ll see not only his physical abilities thrive, but also his growing independence and confidence. Keep reading to learn about every stop and landmark you’ll encounter on this trip!

Although independent steps might happen close to your baby’s first birthday, your little one has been on the developmental pathway for the acquisition of walking since he was born. Every effort, body adjustment, and struggle will help him waltz through every one of his developmental milestones and steer him to walk and later on run, climb, and jump.

Here’s a map of his journey and specific recommendations for each stage. As you begin this journey with your baby you need to remember that, even though it might seem intuitive for us adults, running, walking, standing, and even rolling requires a whole set of physical skills. Every effort calls on his motor planning, balance, coordination, and attention abilities.

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Writing and drawing: What can my little one do at each stage?

Being able to write or draw is a huge accomplishment for your little one! Like all aspects of development these skills are acquired in a gradual process that involves more advanced and complex skills each time. Since your baby is born, she starts to work on her finger and hand movements that, later on, will allow her to hold a crayon and scribble. From this point, there are several stages that she’ll go through while practicing her writing and drawing.

Random Scribbling
Starting at about 16 months, your daughter will begin to scribble in a random way. She will start to realize that her arm movements create the lines she sees on the page. At this point she’ll be able to hold the crayon with her whole fist and her scribbles will be produced with large arm movements (originated from the shoulder).

Controlled Scribbling
As she develops more control over her hand and finger muscles, she’ll begin to make more controlled lines and scribbles. You might see that she repeats the same lines (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, etc.) over and over again, practicing. Continue reading

A guide to understand my baby’s burping and spitting up

When caring for your newborn, one of the first new parent skills you’ll learn is burping your little one. Every burp your baby makes, serves a purpose. Why do babies burp? Is burping my baby after meals important? Getting your degree on this new skill will take you on a journey filled with joys, dribble, and, of course, extra loads of laundry.

The art of burping

Burping is caused by air swallowing; a burp is the release of the gas up the esophagus and out of the mouth. Burping your baby is a way you can help him get rid of gas and settle his stomach.

Fussiness and gas often go hand-in-hand in babies. When your baby is born, his tummy is the size of a marble. It will grow to be the size of an egg around day 10, and eventually will grow to be the size of a softball. Since your little one’s digestive system is developing, he might experience some discomfort associated with gas and might need your help with that.

Burping your baby

When bottle feeding, give your baby a chance to burp midway through and at the end of the feeding. Keep the nipple full of formula throughout the feeding, this will reduce the air ingestion. When breastfeeding, give him a chance to burp when you switch breasts, and after the feeding.
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Exploring the concept of “movement play”

If you’re a Kinedu advocate and have seen our activity videos, you’re most likely aware of the profound importance and link between physical activity and brain development. In this article we’ll explore the concept of movement play, analyze how this type of play impacts all four areas of early childhood development, and what you can do to encourage it at home.

First things first, what is movement play?

One of your baby’s first ways of communicating with you is through movement. The idea behind this theory is that, through free play-movement, your baby is working on all of her developmental areas, not just the physical one. Movement play is when children move in specific ways as they go about their development and repeat these motions. From early reflexes, senses, and movements, your baby is learning and stimulating her neurological system in many ways. Some examples considered movement play include floor play (tummy and back), belly crawling, crawling, spinning, rocking, rolling, etc.

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The motor skills behind using scissors

The use of scissors requires and enhances many developmental skills. Cutting allows children to build the tiny muscles in their hands since they have to continuously open and close their fingers. Cutting also enhances the use of eye-hand coordination, which means children must be able to move their hands, while looking at something. Since the brain is required to work with two systems, cutting might be a difficult task. But don´t worry, little hands can develop fine motor skills by learning the proper way to use scissors. Keep reading to learn more!

What skills do we need?

Cutting with scissors requires multiple skills, and one of them is the hand separation. This is the ability to use the thumb, index, and middle fingers independently from the pinkie and ring fingers. When your child practices cutting with scissors, he is also using abilities like hand-eye coordination and bilateral coordination because each hand is doing something different.

Although these skills are used during the activity of cutting, they can also be practiced throughout your child’s day. Simple tasks like throwing and catching a ball, using a spoon, or zipping a coat are things where your little one develops his hand coordination, finger dexterity, and builds strength in the little hand muscles.

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It’s all fun and games

Babies and toddlers explore and learn about the world that surrounds them by playing with objects. By doing this not only do they have fun, but they learn essential problem-solving skills and practice having social interactions. Play is a must in childhood and understanding which activities and toys best suit your baby and toddler are key for the development of skills and milestones.

At first, babies don’t understand the difference between toys and regular household objects. Everything they see, touch, taste, and feel is new and exciting. They will explore the object by mouthing, shaking, banging, and even throwing, to see what happens. With time, babies learn to differentiate between toys and regular objects, but they will use them in the way that is most enjoyable to them. If a rattle makes a fun noise when thrown, then they will do this repeatedly.

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101 Guide to developing head control

Okay, so we’ve been through this topic before and we all know how important it is for our little ones to strengthen their neck muscles and achieve total head control. By now, you’ve probably heard that, as your baby girl develops and grows stronger, she will eventually master this skill, yay! But as a parent with tons of resources at your disposal (such as, Kinedu), you’re probably wondering what YOU can do at home to help your daughter reach this milestone and gain yet another skill in the ever-growing repertoire.

First off, a recap. The acquisition of this skill (head control, that is) is crucial since it will lay the foundation for many more physical skills such as rolling-over, sitting, crawling, and walking. If you want to read more about what can be expected for this skill at each stage in your baby’s development you can do so in this article (Motor milestones: head control).

Now, unto the fun part. Tummy time is actually a secret tool you can use to help your daughter make tremendous leaps in head control. So, what exactly is tummy time? It’s all that time she spends on her stomach awake and most importantly: under your supervision. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), if a baby lays on her back for prolonged periods of time her head can flatten and, even though there’s no developmental problems related to this, if there’s anything you can do to prevent it, go for it!

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How your baby discovers his hands

When babies are born, they are not capable of associating what they see with what they touch. You’ll notice that your baby seems to be looking in one direction, but moves his hands towards another. This is because babies younger than two months old don’t understand that their hands are part of them. But don’t worry, there are many ways to stimulate your baby’s hand coordination. Keep reading to learn more!

How do babies discover their hands?

Hand coordination in infants is vital for the development of physical and cognitive skills. Since birth, babies start to learn about their bodies through sucking and grasping.

In babies, the discovery of one’s hands is something that can be stimulated through the senses and it works like a domino effect. Practice this with your baby by showing him and making noise with a rattle. First, its sound will get his attention and then he will focus on the object. As he sees the rattle, he will follow its movement and try to reach it with his hands. Once your baby gets the toy, he will begin to notice his own hands. Continue reading

Proprioception: how my daughter knows how to move her body

When you watch a baby girl try her wobbly first steps, it’s cute how completely uncoordinated she looks. It seems as if she is still unsure of where her body parts are or of all the different movements she needs to coordinate just to take one step. Also, have you ever sat cross-legged only to find that one leg has gone momentarily numb, and then you have to spend a few minutes trying to wake it without being able to correctly calculate how much weight you can put on it or exactly where does your foot end? These experiences prove the impressive connection of how our brain processes sensation and movement. That sense is called proprioception.

The term proprioception is used in medicine and in psychology to describe how a person knows where his or her body is in any given space, and therefore is the basis with which we can safely and carelessly move around our environment. Special receptors in our skeletal muscles allow us to be aware of our own posture, position, and balance. Continue reading