5 Easy-to-Do Exercises that Help Your Baby Develop (2023)

5 Easy-to-Do Exercises that Help Your Baby Develop (1)A big part of your baby’s development is active play. While spending time on their favourite playmat is a great bonding time that creates core memories, it has another major benefit. Baby activities set the foundation for future motor skills. There are plenty of easy-to-do exercises that can help your baby develop, no matter what stage they're in.

UK baby brand Nuby has selected the top five exercises that are sure to bring fun and growth to the playmat.

Tummy time
Tummy time is the ultimate exercise you can start engaging your baby in from the first week of their life.

"The earlier infants, toddlers, and preschool children get exposure to daily movement and exercise, the better the likelihood of healthy development in later life," said Jane Clark, PhD, professor and chair of the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland.

Tummy time is a great exercise for strengthening your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles and is ideal for newborns. Eventually, your baby develops the necessary muscles to hold their head up, sit, crawl, and walk.

As your infant spends the most time on their back, turning your baby onto their stomach so they are lying flat, or propping them to sit up with a range of toys will provide a nice change of scenery and support an even distribution of muscle development.

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Tummy time can be performed in different ways, depending on the age and development of your baby. Begin with short periods of one to two minutes and gradually increase the duration to at least 20 minutes per day as your baby gets used to it.

It’s important to place your baby on a firm, flat surface, such as a blanket or playmat, and always supervise them to ensure they’re safe and comfortable.

You can make tummy time even more fun by engaging your baby with toys, rattles, or books. A tummy time roller, for example, will help strengthen your baby’s muscles while keeping them entertained and engaging them in sensory play. A tummy time pillow can help with that and also stimulate the development of your little one’s coordination, prepping them for crawling and walking. Getting down on the floor with your baby and interacting with them is also beneficial.

Rolling over and rocking
Rolling over is an important milestone for babies because it helps develop their core muscles and coordination.

Use diaper change or playmat time to gently rock your baby from side to side from their shoulders and their legs. This will help them learn how to use the different parts of their body to move and start to roll, as well as develop their muscles.

Once your baby becomes familiar with rolling on their back and tummy, you can assist them in doing it on their own by putting them on their side so they will initiate the movement. This usually happens around three to six months of age. Make sure to support their head and neck if needed. You can also put toys just out of reach to encourage them to reach and roll over to grab them.

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Balancing is a fundamental exercise that can help babies develop their coordination, body awareness, core muscles, and strength.

There are multiple ways you can perform balancing exercises with your baby for each stage of their development and expand as they grow, leading up to walking.

While your baby is still an infant, you can start by having it sit on the floor. Place a soft toy or ball in front of them and encourage them to reach for it. As they reach for the toy, gently rock them side to side. This will help them learn how to balance while sitting.

Once your baby can sit and balance, it's time to move on to standing. Hold your baby's hands and help them stand up. Gently rock them back and forth to help them learn how to balance on two feet.

When your baby is comfortable standing on two feet, encourage them to stand on one foot. Hold their hand for support and help them lift one foot off the ground. Encourage them to balance on one foot for a few seconds before switching to the other foot.

Once your baby has mastered balancing on one foot, it's time to move on to walking. Help your baby take a few steps while holding onto their hand. Encourage them to balance on each foot as they take steps.

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Feel free to use props such as a yoga ball or other unstable surface to challenge their balance.

Bicycle legs
Bicycle legs is a great exercise for increasing baby’s flexibility through a range of motions and strengthening their leg muscles. By moving their legs in a cycling motion, babies engage their quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which can help improve their ability to crawl, walk, and eventually run. Additionally, bicycle legs can help promote good posture and balance, as it requires babies to maintain balance while moving their legs.

Another major benefit of bicycle legs for babies is that it can help promote good digestion. Bicycle legs can help stimulate the intestines, which can aid in digestion and relieve gas and constipation. This is especially beneficial for babies who may struggle with digestive issues.

You can start engaging your baby from about three months of age, as long as they can hold their heads up and have good neck control. Place your baby on a playmat or a blanket, gently hold your baby’s legs, and move them in a cycling motion as if they’re riding a bicycle.

You can also talk or sing to your baby to keep them engaged and make the exercise more enjoyable. Repeat for a few minutes each day, take a break, and then repeat. You can end the exercise when your baby stops showing interest by smiling, kicking or making eye contact. Gradually increase the duration of the exercise as your baby gets stronger, and make sure your baby is safe and comfortable at all times.

Assisted crawling
Crawling is an essential developmental milestone for babies, as it helps them build strength and coordination in their arms, legs, and core muscles. It also promotes the development of hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, and sensory integration, which are essential skills for cognitive development.

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While babies usually learn to crawl naturally, assisted crawling can be a beneficial exercise to support and enhance their growth.

To perform this exercise, take a towel or a blanket and fold it over a few times lengthwise. Place it on the floor and lay your baby on top of it. Lift either side of the towel or the blanket with both hands so that your baby’s chest is resting on top of it but is off the ground. As you lift your baby’s chest and belly upward and slowly move side to side, their arms and legs will dangle toward the ground. This will help your baby get used to the crawling motion, and you can eventually loosen your grip until they can crawl on their own.

Incorporating simple exercises into your baby's daily routine can significantly improve their overall development, from strengthening their muscles to enhancing their cognitive function.

By encouraging your little ones to engage in physical activity from a young age, you are setting them up for a lifetime of healthy habits and strong physical and mental development.

"If kids enjoy exercise as babies, they will be more active as adults. That's not just because it is a learned behaviour, though it can be, but also because their brains have incorporated the physical skills that make exercise more enjoyable,” said Lori Rosello, MD, a paediatrician.


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What exercises should I be doing with my baby? ›

The 7 Best Workouts You Can Do with a Baby
  • Baby Overhead Press. Sit cross-legged, holding your baby in front of your chest. ...
  • Walking Lunges. ...
  • Baby-weight Squats. ...
  • Peekaboo Push-ups. ...
  • Baby Bench Press. ...
  • Strolls With...a Stroller. ...
  • Baby Yoga. ...
  • 4 Things To Know About Postnatal Exercise.
Apr 5, 2022

How can I stimulate my baby's brain? ›

Play ideas for encouraging newborn cognitive development

Talk to your baby often, hold your baby, and make eye contact. Read with your baby, recite nursery rhymes, or sing songs. Repeating the same song, rhyme or story is great for babies, because repetition is one of the ways they learn. Make faces with your baby.

What exercises can I do at 5 months pregnant? ›

Suitable activities during pregnancy include:
  • brisk walking.
  • swimming.
  • indoor stationary cycling.
  • prenatal yoga.
  • low impact aerobics under the guidance of a certified aerobics instructor.
  • special exercises to prepare for labor and delivery.

What are the 4 basic needs of a newborn baby? ›

Babies have the right to be protected from injury and infection, to breathe normally, to be warm and to be fed. All newborns should have access to essential newborn care, which is the critical care for all babies in the first days after birth.

Does exercise help baby grow in womb? ›

According to a recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, staying active during pregnancy doesn't just help the mom: Babies whose mothers exercise during pregnancy experience a number of developmental boosts, which may play a part in them being healthier and more physically active later in life.

What are 4 different exercises recommended for the pregnant mother? ›

The safest and most productive activities are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling, step or elliptical machines, and low-impact aerobics (taught by a certified aerobics instructor). These activities carry little risk of injury, benefit your entire body, and can be continued until birth.

How can I sharpen my baby's brain in the womb? ›

To ensure your baby inherits your braininess, we bring you eight tips that ensure your baby is smart and intelligent.
  1. Start a storytime habit. ...
  2. Eat healthy. ...
  3. Stay fit and active. ...
  4. Play music and get talking. ...
  5. Keep thyroid levels in check. ...
  6. Don't ignore the supplements. ...
  7. Get a little sunshine. ...
  8. Gently massage your tummy.
Apr 5, 2017

What increases a babies IQ? ›

Talk to them and read to them.

Playing simple teaching games along the way, for instance asking them to name or count objects, boosts their intelligence even more. "You can raise your child's IQ by six points by simply doing this over a few years when they are young," Roche writes. Start as early as you can, he adds.

Which fruit is good for brain development? ›

Fruits. Certain fruits such as oranges, bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries, contain high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent brain cells from becoming damaged and supports overall brain health.

What are the top five exercise during pregnancy? ›

These activities usually are safe during pregnancy:
  • Walking. ...
  • Swimming and water workouts. ...
  • Riding a stationary bike. ...
  • Yoga and Pilates classes. ...
  • Low-impact aerobics classes During low-impact aerobics, you always have one foot on the ground or equipment. . ...
  • Strength training.

How much walking is OK pregnancy? ›

For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended on most, if not all, days of the week. Walking is a great exercise for beginners.

What happens if you don't walk during pregnancy? ›

In pregnancy, exercise lowers one's risk for a range of pregnancy complications, improves a woman's overall health and helps with postpartum recovery. Studies showed physical inactivity during pregnancy can cause maternal obesity and creates a higher risk for preterm birth, emergency cesarean delivery and preeclampsia.

What babies need the most? ›

Top 10 things baby needs
  1. Car seat. The infant car seat sits at the top of the list because, at the end of the day, the hospital won't let you take the baby home without one. ...
  2. Crib or bassinet. ...
  3. Formula or breastfeeding supplies. ...
  4. Diapers and wipes. ...
  5. Changing table or pad. ...
  6. Bathtub. ...
  7. Clothes. ...
  8. Stroller or baby carrier.
May 2, 2022

What are 2 basic needs of an infant? ›

From clothing to food and security, the list can seem daunting. There are six basic needs that all newborn babies require: security, clothing, enough sleep, nutritious food, sensory stimulation, love, and attention.

Do fetuses like when you exercise? ›

How does the fetus feel about all this jostling about and heavy breathing? Many studies have shown that moderate exercise is safe for the fetus, and a new study indicates that when mom exercises, the fetus actually becomes more fit, too!

What are 3 exercises for pregnant woman? ›

Squats, lunges, leg lifts, and arm lifts with or without light weights can tone your muscles while you're pregnant. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. But listen to your body. As little as 5 minutes a day is a good start.

What are the 10 rules of safer exercise while pregnant? ›

Here are the steps to take to make sure your pregnancy workouts are healthy for you and your baby.
  • Check in with your provider. ...
  • Start slow (or continue) ...
  • Know which exercises to avoid during pregnancy. ...
  • Make pregnancy modifications. ...
  • Warm up and cool down. ...
  • Avoid overheating. ...
  • Eat well. ...
  • Listen to your body.
Jun 29, 2021

How can I make my baby happy in the womb? ›

Ways to bond with your baby during pregnancy
  1. Talk and sing to your baby, knowing he or she can hear you.
  2. Gently touch and rub your belly, or massage it.
  3. Respond to your baby's kicks. ...
  4. Play music to your baby. ...
  5. Give yourself time to reflect, go for a walk or have a warm bath and think about the baby. ...
  6. Have an ultrasound.

What do babies do in the womb all day? ›

Just like newborns, fetuses spend most of their time sleeping. Indeed, throughout much of the pregnancy, your baby sleeps 90 to 95% of the day. Some of these hours are spent in deep sleep, some in REM sleep, and some in an indeterminate state—a result of their immature brain.

How do I know if my baby is healthy in the womb? ›

Five common signs of a healthy pregnancy
  • 01/6​Weight gain during pregnancy. Usually expecting mums gain around 12-15 kilos when they are pregnant. ...
  • 02/6Common signs of a healthy pregnancy. ...
  • 03/6​Movement. ...
  • 04/6​Normal growth. ...
  • 05/6Heartbeat. ...
  • 06/6​Position of the baby at the time of pre-labour.
Oct 4, 2019

What nuts are best for baby brain development? ›

Walnuts specifically contain more omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and eye development,” McNamee adds. Cashews are also a good source of omega fats, as well as copper (which is essential for iron absorption), magnesium, and amino acids that power cell growth.

What month does the brain develop during pregnancy? ›

Your fetus will begin the process of developing a brain around week 5, but it isn't until week 6 or 7 when the neural tube closes and the brain separates into three parts, that the real fun begins.

Which drink is good for brain? ›

Brain-Boosting Beverages
  • Coffee. 1/12. If you can't get through the morning without a java jolt, you're not alone. ...
  • Green Tea. 2/12. ...
  • Berry Juices. 3/12. ...
  • Kombucha. 4/12. ...
  • Green Smoothie. 5/12. ...
  • Turmeric Tea. 6/12. ...
  • Beetroot Juice. 7/12. ...
  • Ginseng Tea. 8/12.
Nov 30, 2022

Which drink is best for brain development? ›

Here are 15 juices and drinks that may boost your brain health.
  1. Coffee. Coffee is probably the most widely consumed nootropic beverage. ...
  2. Green tea. Green tea's caffeine content is much lower than coffee's. ...
  3. Kombucha. ...
  4. Orange juice. ...
  5. Blueberry juice. ...
  6. Green juices and smoothies. ...
  7. Turmeric lattes. ...
  8. Adaptogen lattes.
Oct 1, 2020

What positions should you avoid while pregnant? ›

It's best to avoid lying on your back, especially in late pregnancy, when the weight of the heavy uterus can press on the large blood vessels in your belly. When lying on your side, keep your body in line, with your knees bent slightly, and avoid twisting.

Which month is best to exercise during pregnancy? ›

In the third trimester (weeks 28 to 40) you can carry on exercising as long as you feel well and comfortable. If you feel okay, you can stay active right up to the birth of your baby. Keep doing low-impact activities, such as walking and swimming. You can do gentle stretches to reduce aches and pains.

Can I do squats while pregnant? ›

During pregnancy, squats are an excellent resistance exercise to maintain strength and range of motion in the hips, glutes, core, and pelvic floor muscles. When performed correctly, squats can help improve posture, and they have the potential to assist with the birthing process.

When should I stop bending during pregnancy? ›

Even in your third trimester of pregnancy, bending is still considered safe for your baby. You'll probably find it becomes increasingly difficult for you, though, if not impossible. Apart from your extra body weight, the size of your belly is increasing.

Is it good to swim while pregnant? ›

Not only can swimming offer some pregnancy pain relief, but other health benefits such as improved sleep and fitness are likely to follow a dip in the pool. Generally considered a safe form of exercise during all three trimesters, it's definitely something worth pursing if you have any interest.

How much water should I drink during pregnancy? ›

During pregnancy you should drink 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water every day. Water has many benefits. It aids digestion and helps form the amniotic fluid around the fetus. Water also helps nutrients circulate in the body and helps waste leave the body.

Is sitting too long bad for pregnancy? ›

During pregnancy, staying in same position for too long, seated or standing, can be problematic. It can cause all types of problems including swollen ankles and vein problems. Try taking short breaks frequently to move around if you've been seated, or to put your legs up if you've been on your feet.

What stretches should you avoid during pregnancy? ›

It's safest to avoid all stretches during pregnancy that involve deep backbends or other contortions, like camel or bow pose in yoga. You may find that you get calf cramps when you point your toes; if that's the case, flex your feet instead.

How much money do you really need for a baby? ›

For newborns, the cost is higher. Some studies show numbers ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for the child's first year of life, depending on location and household income. Beyond the general items, like a stroller, crib, or car seat, here are some estimates of what you can expect to shell out in your baby's first year.

What should baby wear first born? ›

Usually all they need to wear is a onesie with a light blanket placed over them once they've been buckled in. A pair of pants or shorts for hot days can help provide an extra layer of protection against pinching from the buckle.

What love do babies need? ›

Bonding and attachment are vital to development. Bonding and attachment happen when you consistently respond to newborns with love, warmth and care. Newborns use body language to show when they want to connect with you. Good ways to bond with newborns include smiling, eye contact, singing, reading and cuddling.

What don t babies need? ›

What you don't need: Pillows, loose bedding or blankets, sleep positioners, bumper pads, or mattress padding. All of these items increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and should be kept out of the crib.

What do babies need emotionally? ›

In addition to needing love, babies need to feel safe. They depend on adults to keep them safe; they can only let you know how they are feeling through laughing or crying. If they get a quick response to the emotion that they are displaying it can have a positive effect on their emotional development.

What is the closest formula to breast milk? ›

Similac 360 Total Care Non-GMO Infant Formula Powder

Key features: Similac claims that this formula is their closest in composition to human breast milk. It includes a blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E — all nutrients found in breast milk.

What are the 5 important needs of a baby? ›

Kids must feel safe and sound, with their basic survival needs met: shelter, food, clothing, medical care and protection from harm.

What are the 4 basic needs of a baby? ›

Babies have the right to be protected from injury and infection, to breathe normally, to be warm and to be fed. All newborns should have access to essential newborn care, which is the critical care for all babies in the first days after birth.

What is basic infant care? ›

Definition of Infant Care. - The term "infant care" refers to the social welfare service concerning support for nursery facilities. and home fostering, taking care of and nurturing from 0 to 5 year old infants in a healthy and safe.

When should I start doing activities with my baby? ›

During their first month of life your baby will learn so much just by interacting with you on a daily basis. The best news though, is that you can start playing with your baby at any time- the sooner the better. There's no need to worry about a set time for activities with your newborn.

How do I balance my baby and gym? ›

How to Balance Working Out With a New Baby
  1. Here are 7 ways to balancing working out with a new baby:
  2. Workout together. ...
  3. Build your own gym. ...
  4. Plan with your spouse or partner. ...
  5. Multitask. ...
  6. Choose HIIT style workouts. ...
  7. Workout when baby naps. ...
  8. Make it a priority.

What happens to baby when mom exercises? ›

Babies of moms who exercise may have stronger and healthier hearts, according to recent research. Scientists found that women who were active while pregnant had babies with lower heart rates, both in utero and after birth, suggesting that a mom's fitness was making her baby's heart more fit, too.

When should I start watching TV with my baby? ›

When it comes down to it, the fact is this: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children begin to watch TV and use screens only after reaching 18 months.

Do you need to play with your baby all day? ›

But the AAP doesn't recommend any specific amount of playtime – that's up to you. As you get to know your baby, you'll learn to read their cues and know when they want to interact and play – and when they'd rather rest. Responding to your baby's signals will help the two of you bond and learn to communicate.

How long should I play with my baby each day? ›

Toddlers should have opportunities to play every day, the AAP says. Many experts recommend giving toddlers at least an hour per day of free, unstructured (but still supervised) play where children can explore what interests them, along with at least 30 minutes of active, adult-led, structured play.

Does working full time affect my child? ›

We spotlight research on working moms. Overall, the research suggests maternal employment has little impact on kid's behavior and academic achievement over the short term and may have long-term benefits. Most American moms work outside the home.

How can I be a good working mom? ›

10 tips for balancing work and parental duties
  1. Let go of the mom guilt. Moms are judged harshly in our society. ...
  2. Look for time-saving hacks. ...
  3. Find a childcare provider you can trust. ...
  4. Talk to your manager. ...
  5. Reduce distractions. ...
  6. Don't forget your partner. ...
  7. Create meaningful family activities. ...
  8. Avoid trying to do it all.
Sep 9, 2022

Can you be a good mom and work full time? ›

Yes, of course! Many mums work full-time or part-time, and still have a great relationship with their children. However, there may be some compromises you need to make in both your work and home-life.

Does baby like when I exercise? ›

Emerging research has suggested that stress during pregnancy could have an effect on a baby's immune response. But as regular exercisers know, endorphins—the positive “runner's high” hormones that are released when you're working out—can ease your stress, making both you and your baby feel better.

Do shoes help babies balance? ›

(Often, babies won't even tolerate shoes while they're busy trying to master walking!) Again, when your baby's tootsies are shoe-free, it bolsters their muscle strength, plus it encourages balance, posture, and coordination.

Is working out too hard bad for baby? ›

In general, exercise is an essential element of a healthy lifestyle and is encouraged during pregnancy as a component of optimal health. Women who frequently engaged in high-intensity aerobic activity or who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities during and after pregnancy.

What exercises should not be done during pregnancy? ›

During pregnancy, don't do:
  1. Any activity that has a lot of jerky, bouncing movements that may cause you to fall, like horseback riding, downhill skiing, off-road cycling, gymnastics or skating.
  2. Any sport in which you can get hit in the belly, like ice hockey, boxing, soccer or basketball.

What household activities should be avoided during pregnancy? ›

Mopping, washing clothes, cleaning the floor and other chores which requires you to bend is not recommended during pregnancy. Pregnancy weight gain can cause a marginal shift in the body's centre of gravity and bending during this time can be risky for the sciatic nerve (runs from the lower back to the leg).


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3. 10 Simple Exercises To Lose Weight At Home
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4. Do This With Your Newborn to Promote Healthy Development
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