Early-in-Life Exercise RoutinesAccording to research by Sylvia Klein, an expert and prolific author on the subject of pregnancy and infant welfare, entering your baby into a movement programme or exercise regime increases the chances that your baby will talk earlier, eat better, sleep more restfully, and undergo faster development of their motor functions than a non-exercised baby. However, it's not necessary to pay out for expensive baby exercise classes, as the BBC's question implies. What follows is a short collection of ideas and tips to help you exercise healthily with your baby. First, some general guidelines to remember:
- Keep baby exercise sessions under half an hour each time, and don't exceed two sessions per day.
- Speak to your doctor for ideas on which exercises to take part in. Not all exercises are appropriate for all infants, so talk with your GP about the ones which you would like to do.
- Buy a mat or use a soft blanket to lay your baby on while you do the exercises.
- Listen to your baby - if he or she is clearly unhappy with the exercises then stop.
- Don't exercise a baby which has just eaten - that's asking for trouble.
- Keep your movements relaxed and fluent. Don't force your baby's joints into position. You'll be surprised at how firm you can be, but don't make it uncomfortable.
- Talk constantly and communicate with your baby - make the exercise fun and lively.
- Exercise the joints which are closest to your baby's torso and radiate the movements outward; from the hip, to the knee, to the ankle, to the toes for example.