How much physical activity do babies need?

Babies need a certain amount of physical activity to support their growth and development. When babies know how to master balance and coordination functions, they will be more active in various physical activities. How much physical activity your baby needs in a day depends on the age and stage of development.

Age-Specific Recommendations for Baby Activity

Here are some suggestions for how much physical activity is needed for children under 3 years old:

Newborn: Encouraging Development Through Play

Newborn (0-3 months): During the first few months of life, babies engage in mostly voluntary movements such as stretching, kicking, and waving their arms. An important activity at this stage is tummy time, where you place your baby on their tummy, in the prone position and this helps facilitate your baby's development. Do short periods of tummy time a few times a day, gradually increasing the time as your baby grows.

Babies: Setting the Right Environment for Baby's Growth

Babies (4-11 months): As babies get older, they become more active and begin to develop motor skills for larger movements. They may begin to roll over, sit up with support, crawl, and finally begin to stand while holding on to something. Parents can encourage their physical and mental development by providing a stimulating but safe environment, giving babies as much opportunity as possible to explore their surroundings freely.

Toddlers: Adapting Activities to Your Baby's Unique Needs

Toddlers (1-3 years): Once babies become toddlers, their physical activity levels increase further. They start walking, running, climbing and exploring their surroundings. Young children need at least 3 hours of active play each day, which can be spread over the day. Encourage them to engage in a variety of physical activities such as jumping, skipping rope, a game of tag, ball games, swimming or playing at the playground.

In conclusion, the right amount of physical activity is essential for your baby's development and health. Encouraging babies to engage in age-appropriate physical activity can help them build strong bodies and active habits by providing a safe, stimulating and varied environment.

It's important to remember that every baby is unique and their individual developmental and activity needs may vary. Some babies may be more interested in physical activity, while others may need more encouragement and guidance. Observe your baby's abilities and interests, and adjust to their needs. In the meantime, talk to your pediatrician or healthcare professional for more advice and guidance.

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