Most Mums will agree that childbirth is a rather physically stressful process to go through. If you have recently had a new member introduced into your family, then chances are that you are at once overjoyed and also rather sore!
But childbirth is not just traumatic for Mothers – it’s quite the ordeal for babies too! And so are the first few years of their lives, which are spent trying to figure out answers to some of the most basic questions about life, while also developing physically and mentally at an astounding rate.
Just as Mums can benefit from some physical therapy and exercise then, there are great advantages to helping children with some fun exercises too. Let’s take a look at some that you can do together.
For us, exercise conjures images of the gym or having joints manipulated by a physical therapist. For a baby however, ‘exercise’ can simply mean lying flat on your stomach. It sounds easy, but so called ‘tummy time’ is actually critical for infant development and is recommended to help them strengthen their head, neck and upper body muscles.
As most advice suggests that babies should sleep on their backs, they run the risk of not spending enough time on their fronts. Tummy time solves this and can be made fun with the use of various mats and toys designed specifically for this purpose!
Being mindful of your baby’s positioning is important to help them avoid developing conditions such as ‘flat head syndrome’ or torticollis. Torticollis is caused by muscles shortening in one side of the neck, resulting in a constant ‘lolling’ of the head to one side.
Tummy time can help to prevent this condition and especially if you are mindful of your baby’s head position. During play and even when they are resting, take note of your baby’s head position and be sure to help them keep it central.
If you want to take your baby’s exercise to the next level, then consider trying ‘baby yoga’. These are classes for Mother and child to attend together and that help to improve the health of both parties while also strengthening the bond through playful interaction and communication.
Exercises you’ll learn for your baby here include ‘mini twists’, ‘mini stretches’ and various upper and lower body movements. It’s all very cute and a great way to meet other Mums, too.
This is a great way to follow on from yoga that you might have practiced yourself both during and after pregnancy. Stretching, yoga, and physical therapy can benefit you at any age! So why not get your baby started early and hopefully help to set good habits that will help them as they grow into fully functioning adults!
About Dr. Vidhi Jain:
Dr. Vidhi Jain has over 7 years of experience as a Physiotherapist. She has a Masters in Physiotherapy in Orthopedics and is currently practicing at Vinayak Physiotherapy in Noida as HOD of the Physiotherapy Department. She has been nominated as ‘Best Physiotherapy Consultant’ in Noida & firmly believes in health care that is based on a personal commitment to meet patient needs with compassion and care.
She also writes for Medlife International Private Limited, an online pharmacy store operating in India offering home delivery of authentic prescription medicines at discounted prices.