Movement is essential at all ages, even in newborn babies. This is why, in these days of seclusion and scarce movement, the Ministry of Health provided guidelines regarding ‘physical activity’ for up to 2 years, explaining how even babies of a few months should be left free to experience the space around them.
0 – 6 MONTHS
Although most people (and even expectant mothers-to-be) are convinced that newborn babies do not move, in reality all studies agree that very little ones, just like other children, have need to be left free to experience the space around them to help them gain greater awareness of themselves and their surroundings.
In these first months, therefore, the child should be ‘immobilized’ as soon as possible (no more than an hour a day on chairs and bouncers) and encouraged, instead, to ‘move’ as he sees fit.
Obviously these are not real movements. But a baby even a few weeks placed on his stomach on a soft mat, possibly very colorful, will naturally be induced to look around, to move his arms and legs, to bend his hand. Small gestures, but essential for healthy growth.
There belly down position is the most suitable, in these first months, to favor the growth of the child and favor his physiological development. At the end of this first period, a healthy child will have taken an incredible number of micro and macro movements, he will have learned to keep his head still, to sit still, to turn his face in the direction of the speaker or of a noise that has hit him.
6 – 12 MONTHS
These are the months in which the baby learn first to gattanora first, to stand up then and finally to walk.
At this central moment in the development of the newborn, many parents become anxious if their little one seems to be lazier than other children and less responsive to the desire to gain autonomy in travel.
To tell the truth, there are no rules and every child reaches certain stages of growth when the time is right for him. Some even skip the crawl phase altogether and immediately learn to walk.
Do not panic, therefore, but games designed to encourage the child’s curiosity to explore the environment that surrounds him and to get in touch with it. In this regard, one of the activities that almost all pediatricians recommend is to lay the baby on a soft mat on his stomach, placing objects of interest out of his reach.
In this way the little one, to be able to satisfy a need, will be forced to devise a way to reach the desired object and through the game he will learn to move.
FROM 1 TO 2 YEARS
In the second year of life the child it becomes more and more autonomous in its movements and expert walker. In these 12 months, parents should push the little one to walk as much as possible, gradually abandoning the stroller at least for small movements. Even in this heat situation, the child should be left free to stroll around the house, on the balcony, in the courtyard of the building and wherever he can give vent to his need to move.
It is very important to organize simple movement games and activities with the child that make him more and more aware of his motor and physical skills. One of the activities recommended in these months (and easily practicable even at home) is yoga for children that allows the experimentation of positions (often inspired by the animal world) that facilitate learning and meet the physiological needs of this period of life.