Q&A with Dr Miriam Stoppard
Any parent will tell you that bringing up a family is hard work, but they’ll also say it’s immensely rewarding. It’s sometimes hard to know if what you are doing is right, especially as your child develops and grows. We asked parenting guru Dr Miriam Stoppard to answer a few of your questions.
Question: My baby is nearly five months old and she seems to be taking more interest in the world around her. I’d love to know the kind of things I can do to introduce her to wider experiences.
Answer: At five months your baby will have full control of her head. Even when she’s pulled into a sitting position from lying flat, or when she rocks to and fro, her head doesn’t lag.
What can you do to help?
In order for your baby to learn to walk and even stand up, her head must be entirely stable. To help her progress properly, give her plenty of rocking exercises like moving her gently from side to side and forwards and backwards. Show her how to raise her arms above her head so she learns to be stable in various positons.
Play for stabilising her head
Rock your baby frequently. This will give her plenty of practice in keeping her head stable. You can dance gently around the room with her or swing her in your arms. Sit on the floor with her, legs spread apart, and roll a large, soft ball to her so she has to bend to catch it. Also, with a toy bird show how a bird flies with your arms spread wide. Gently coax her to imitate you.
Question: My little boy of 10 months loves to stand with our help and take his weight on his legs. I’m wondering how I can encourage him to stand on his own and take his first step.
Answer: Your baby is discovering the thrill of being mobile and moving forward on his hands and knees. Encourage him to pull himself up on furniture and show him how to change from sitting to lying and vice versa. If you do this his lateral trunk muscles will get stronger so that he can begin to twist his trunk around while he sits.
What can you do to help?
Offer your fingers so he’ll be encouraged to grab them and pull himself up to sit and stand. He’ll be amazed and delighted at his prowess. Praise him well. To help him learn stepping while he’s standing up, bend one of his knees and lift his foot from the floor. When he does it, tell him “Clever boy”. To make him twist, place a toy behind his back. Support him as he twists around.
Encourage him to crawl to you
Put your baby on his hands and knees and sit a short distance away. He’ll come to you if you hold out your arms, call his name, or offer a brightly coloured toy. Once he gets on his feet use a stable tray of blocks on wheels to help him take his first steps.
As you probably know we’ve launched a range of toys with Dr Miriam Stoppard for babies and toddlers. The Dr Miriam @ Galt range comprises of 21 wooden, plastic and soft toys all designed to encourage learning through play. Each toy has engaging features for little hands and minds to explore. The range includes traditional favourites such as a jigsaw, rattle, soft books, soft toys, building blocks, a baby walker, activity centre, stacking rings, pull-along-puppy and a shape sorter among others.