Gross Motor Development and Reflexes in Babies

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Reflexes leave their place to controlled movements…

By the third month, myelination (wiring in the brain) has occurred for the head, upper body, arms and hands. (If you are a new member, we recommend that you read our article on brain development and myelination in infants) Therefore, reflexive movements in these regions are now left to controlled movements. It is important that this transition is healthy. Therefore, it is important that you are well-informed about this subject and your observations are also important.

These days, your baby looks at his hands and plays with them. However, he has not yet fully understood that they are his own extension. His fists begin to open and his hands begin to move more freely. This period, your baby will be surprised every time he sees his hands and will be happy to find them again. He rarely clenches his hands into fists anymore. Sometimes he can hold the object in his hands for a short time. In this period, you can rub objects of different textures on your baby’s hands to receive different warnings. Sometimes you can put some objects in his palm and make him make little efforts to hold them in his hand. These are not controlled grips yet, but their muscles are gradually getting stronger and preparing for strong grips.

During this period, your baby’s hand-eye coordination is developing rapidly. By the third month, your baby can lift his arms from the sides and join both hands in the air in the middle of his body. You can support your baby to do this movement by hanging objects from a height on your baby. When you bring some objects close, your baby may hit them.

During this period, you can place your baby on a medium soft cushion in the movement area. If possible, having a mirror on the side and even a bar suitable for its height will be very useful especially in the coming months. Your baby loves to play with his hands and fingers in front of his face. You can allow your baby to make various movements by laying him on his back and sometimes on his face, and you can give him the necessary warnings to work out his different muscles.

Your baby is also trying to strengthen his leg muscles. He can throw powerful kicks by moving his legs one after the other. Many babies can sit on the lap with assistance and go into a semi-sitting position during this period. You can sit your baby on your lap by supporting him without forcing him; You can talk to him in front of the mirror. Or, while your baby is sitting on his father’s lap, you can step forward and make him try to communicate and move his body with small gestures and movements.

There are also nice mobile/mobile options that you can use for your baby in the third and fifth months. The small bell that you can hang by attaching it to the ribbon, the hollow wooden circle hanging from the rubber band, the wooden mobile consisting of primary colors, the butterfly mobile, the mother and baby whale mobiles are examples of these. Each of these mobiles are materials that we recommend in terms of attracting your baby’s attention, doing exercises to follow with their eyes, concentrating on different colors and tones, and containing rich stimuli that will stimulate their senses. Moreover, you can make most of them at home if you wish. You can find the images of the mobiles, their details and links about how you can make them or where you can get them.

Your baby’s movements are accelerating…

Your baby’s movements will now begin to develop rapidly. We examine advances in physical development in two different ways. The first of these are gross motor muscles; that is, it includes movements that work large muscle groups (such as walking, running, extending your arm). The other is fine motor muscles. These are improvements in small muscle groups (finger and tongue muscles) and especially in grip styles.

In the Kidokit application, we will offer different suggestions that will improve your child’s fine and gross motor skills at different times. We have prepared hundreds of videos for you in every age range. The development of these skills is very important for your child to be able to act independently and feel safe. Gross motor skills are done with the coordination of the large muscles of the trunk and extremities (arms and legs). These movements are related to postural (balance) and locomotor (movement in the plane) activities.

What should we expect in gross motor development?

Let’s take a quick look at what awaits us in the upcoming period regarding the development of gross motor muscles. But when looking at our list, remember: The periods mentioned are averages and each child’s developmental chart is unique to him. Some of our children talk much faster, while others walk much faster. This does not mean that one child is more developed than the other. The important thing is to be aware of the milestones. However, there are some skills that if they are still not acquired at a certain age, they cause delays in the development of skills in other areas. We call these “red flags” or warning developmental delays. In our Kidokit application, we will ask you questions at different age ranges, and if we come across “red flag”, that is, warning developmental delays, we will recommend you to consult a specialist. Although this is not a situation to be panicked, it is important to make sure that there is no delay in development and not to be late to get support if necessary.

Basic gross motor muscle development steps:

2 months Can lift head on face up and hold head when held upright

2-3 months Can lift chest and head up by leaning on his arms in prone position

5 months Starts from supine to prone

5-6 months Begins to sit with assistance

7 months Turns from prone to supine; starts to crawl

6-8 months Can sit unassisted

8 months Successful in sitting independently, turning and crawling

9 months Begins to pull himself up to stand

9-10 months walks holding hands (wandering)

11-12 months Begins to stand alone

12-13 months Walks if held by one hand

15 months Stands up and walks unaided

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