4 Ways to Understand Motor Skill Milestones From Birth to Six Months

Photo use thanks to user "IngaMun" on Flickr.

Early Motor Development is Incredible

For babies, their motor development from birth to six months is incredible. This is a huge period of development, as they become aware of their bodies and what they can do. Motor skill development is generally divided into fine motor skills (skills needing very slight movements) and gross motor skills (large physical skills like crawling or moving limbs).

 

1) Normal Milestones By 3 Months
As baby starts to grow, he will gain the strength in his head and neck needed to lift and rotate his head by himself. While initially this will only be possible from mom’s shoulder, eventually baby will able to lift his head from a lying down (on his stomach) position.

In addition, baby will learn to open and close his fist and will eventually be able to grab objects like a rattle or finger when they are pressed into baby’s palm.

2) Normal Milestones by 6 Months
You’ll see a tremendous amount of growth in your baby between three and six months of age. By six months, baby should be able to sit up with support, sit in a high chair or special seat, roll over and even help hold the bottle during a feeding. He’ll be exploring by sticking things in his mouth and shifting them from one hand to the other. Fine motor skills include being able to grasp small items and play with them (like teeny toes, or his rattle!).

3) Encouraging Your Child
It can definitely be tempting to leave your child in her swing – especially if she loves it – while you go about your day. But make sure to give her lots of ‘tummy time’, time spent on her stomach on a play mat or blanket, to give her the opportunity to flex her muscles. Practice giving her toys and encourage her to shake them or pass them from hand to hand.

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