Monday, December 5, 2011
Most readers of this blog know me from my book Baby Signs with Dr. Susan Goodwyn. Fewer of you may know that the two of us have written two other books for parents, Baby Minds (about how parents can support intellectual development from Birth to 3) and Baby Hearts (the same for emotional development). The following builds on tips from Baby Minds.
It’s usually between 8 and 12 months that babies begin to move themselves around—crawling excitedly from here to there and back again. This is really the stage of “Baby on the move!” Their motivation, though, comes not just from the ability to reach an object or gain a new viewpoint on the world around them. They also really enjoy the process itself—the challenge of making their bodies move the way they want them to—and the challenge of getting better and better and faster and faster at doing so. In adult terms, they take great pleasure in the trip itself, not just the destination.
And here’s an easy and safe way to make crawling even more fun—as well as more challenging. Simply put three or four sofa or chair pillows on the floor for your baby to climb up, down, and around. Make sure they are not too tall and relatively firm (rather than squishy soft) so that your baby can move on them fairly easily. You might even create tunnels by draping light weight fabric across two piles of pillows or over a low table or between two chairs. Of course, it goes without saying that you should always remain close enough to supervise.
What a great way to provide a new “landscape” for your baby to explore—one that’s available even on the rainiest, snowiest days!
Happy Signing (and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook)!
Linda Acredolo, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs® Program
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis