*Thank you Gerber for sponsoring this post. Regardless all thoughts and opinions are my own and I only recommend products and brands I truly love.
If there’s one thing a new mom is going to worry about, it’s whether her baby is meeting all the milestones set in place. You know… people saying babies should sit up unassisted by a certain age, crawl by a certain age, walk by a certain age, etc. At the end of the day I think it’s smart to remember that no one told the baby these guidelines so they are going to do things at their own speed and that’s totally fine. But it’s also okay if you’re like me and google ways you can help them learn, such as gross motor skills, which are important. Here are some of the ways you can (gently) encourage gross motor skills for your baby throughout the first year of their life:
Keep them comfortable – If baby doesn’t have the comfort to move freely simple logic can tell you they aren’t going to pick up on gross motor skills as easily. We pretty much keep Millie in comfortable sleep n’ plays when we are home. And while you might think that all sleep n’ plays are made to be comfortable, it’s taken us a while to find ones that fit her comfortably. Let’s just say that sleep n’ plays run all over the place. There are some that have been so tight on her it’s like squeezing sausage into casing and she can hardly move in them, some that have somehow managed to be too baggy, some that are too short, some that unbutton and literally fall off of her. Any of these issues could hinder how she develops gross motor skills. I also always look for the fabrics of pajamas and want ones that are super soft for our baby girl. I’ve fallen in love with the Gerber footies made with organically grown cotton. Not only are they just precious (which is also important to me) but they fit our Millie girl perfectly and are super soft to the touch. She can move around great in them and I know that she is perfectly comfortable in them. The zipper makes them easy to take on and off too so they are a hit for mom and dad as well as baby!
Give them a place to develop – at home we have set stations for baby Millie to do tummy time and sit up play time. And because we are constantly on the go (third baby problem) I make sure to carry around a blanket to give Millie a soft and clean spot that she can lay and play on when we are out and about. We have the Gerber blanket that matches the Gerber footies that I carry around in my diaper bag for a place to put Millie down on when we are on the go!
Encourage baby to get enough sleep – And yes every baby, especially at the 6 month mark, is going to have a different sleep pattern. But this ties back into keeping baby comfortable, at least to an extent. When baby is comfortable they will sleep longer and good sleep is crucial for baby’s development. We found that Millie just recently started sleeping through the night and think it’s a mixture of finding ways to keep her comfortable and starting solids!
Play with baby – This is one of the biggest factors for how baby will develop gross motor skills. Get on the floor with your baby and really interact with them. Encourage them to reach for you or objects, help them to work on sitting up so that they build those muscles, let baby grab onto your fingers, help baby to push up on their legs and stand up. All of these can be done from the start and constantly doing them helps baby to learn these gross motor skills throughout the first year of their life!
So yes babies learn at their own speed and in their own way but these are some ideas for things that will help encourage your baby to pick up on and learn those important gross motor skills. If you have any worries though ask your pediatrician and they can tell you whether your baby is on track or if there is any reason to have concern.
We are so thankful to Gerber for making these sweet but comfortable clothes baby can play and sleep in,while she explores the world around her! You can find both the footies and blanket at buybuy BABY! #GCWBaby
What are ways you’ve found to help your baby develop gross motor skills? I’d love to hear them below!