Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

Your new baby is sturdy and very well engineered, so don’t be afraid to handle him and move him around right from the start. During the first month or two it is important to support your baby’s head because it is quite wobbly. The earlier you start to help him develop strength, good muscle tone and agility the better. Here are some specific suggestions:

1. Carry him around in other positions, besides the so-called “burping position” on your shoulder. This helps strengthen large muscles.

2. To strengthen leg muscles, place your baby on his back and exercise the legs by pumping them gently as if he were riding a bicycle.

3. To strengthen neck muscles, place your baby on his stomach a few times each day. This allows him to lift his head up, and so strengthens the neck muscles.

4. Crib devices hung over the crib for him to swipe at gives him a fine opportunity to exercise his arms.

Dr. Alvin Eden is chairman of the department of pediatrics at Wyckoff Heights Hospital in Brooklyn and associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Cornell University Medical Center. Dr. Eden has authored several books including “Positive Parenting” and “Healthy Kids”.


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