You’re already aware of those major milestones your baby will reach one day, such as rolling over, crawling and walking. But did you know there are hundreds more skills and mini-milestones she’ll master along the way? And if you share in her joy of movement, you can make a real difference to how she develops.
With our help, you’ll be able to support your baby’s efforts, and celebrate together endless little moments of success, because your attention and interest will motivate her like nothing else.
Making friends with gravity
Lying on her back, and eventually rolling to each side and on to her front, your baby is exploring gravity and its magical pull on her body. She’s eager to move and discover what she can do.
Your baby needs freedom to move on the floor. It will help if you are close by her, as you make her feel secure and supported. Lay a blanket on the floor and lie down with her at her level. Start with 20 minutes together when she is fed, dry, calm and alert, and you can focus entirely on her.
The time spent will naturally get longer as you enjoy this period together everyday, and you notice what your baby is doing. Your attention will show her that you’re interested in what she’s doing. Watch out for your baby’s communication cues so you spot when she’s happy to continue engaging with you, or when she’s ready for a change of pace.
Using both sides of her body together
Imagine a line that runs from the top of your baby’s head and through her middle. This is called her ‘midline’ and differentiates the right and left sides of her body.
A three-month-old baby lying on her back will have learned how to hold her head in this midline position for brief periods of time. She’ll also be able to bring both her hands together, tuck in her chin and look down at her hands. This is the beginning of her using both eyes together to focus on her hands.
Place your baby on the floor, lying on her back. Hold a soft toy so it lightly touches her belly button at her midline. This encourages her to gaze downward, and she’ll bring her hands together to grasp the toy. This helps her learn to co-ordinate both sides of her body together at the same time.
Matching her fingers
When your baby can bring her hands together at her midline, she may go further and match her fingers together.
To join in her journey of awareness, touch your baby’s thumb, and each of her fingers in turn, while saying, ‘This is your thumb, this is your pointer finger, this is your middle finger, this is your ring finger, and this is your little finger.’ Start with her right hand, and repeat with her left hand.
Tracking an object
Your baby’s eyes are beginning to work together. A three-month-old baby is starting to be able to track a toy more smoothly from left to right or vice versa.
Sit with your legs wide in a V-shape on the floor, and lay your baby on her back between your legs. Engage her attention by looking at her and smiling. Hold a small toy in your right hand, centred over her midline and wait until she focuses on it. Moving your hand steadily, move the toy from her midline to her right side, then back across her midline to her left side, before returning to her midline.
Let her explore
Give your baby a soft toy that’s easy for her to hold and explore. She uses her body to find out about the shape, size, weight and texture of the toy, which helps her work out what she needs to do to move and handle it.