Baby care 101
The American Academy of Pediatrics has some great tips for strengthening your baby’s muscles. When she’s awake, place her on her stomach to see how much she can move on her own. A baby younger than 2 months old may struggle to raise her head to look around, but may still be able to lift her head for a few seconds.
While your baby is on her stomach, extend her arms and place a rolled-up receiving blanket underneath her chest and arms. Keep your newborn on her belly for a few seconds at a time each day until she can work her way up to holding her head up for longer. You can motivate her by bringing yourself down to her eye level so she can look at you. You can also try placing a rattle or other attractive toy in front of her to get her attention.
These exercises will strengthen your baby’s neck and arm muscles, so that when she’s around 4 months old, she’ll be able to hold her head and chest up. Once she achieves this milestone, she’ll need less head and neck support when you hold her. Her new upper body strength will help her remain steady and upright when she’s learning to sit up at around 5 months of age. She’ll also need these skills when she’s learning to roll over and crawl.
As with all baby activities, keep a close watch on her and never leave your baby unattended.