- When Should Baby Lift Head Tummy Time
- When Does the Newborn Begin to Hold His Head Up?
- How to Help Strengthen the Baby's Neck Muscles?
When Should Baby Lift Head Tummy Time
The first sign of active development of motor skills is the ability of the baby to hold his head up. When the child begins to keep his head up, you can leave him for a while at the position on the stomach and on the back. This skill appears after the 1-2 month of life, so until that time the head of the little one should be supported, so as not to damage the neck ligaments.
When Does the Newborn Begin to Hold His Head Up?
Ability to hold the head up without your help is a sign of strengthening of neck muscles. In the first days after the birth of the little one, all his movements are purely reflexive, so if you lift a baby, his head lags back. Too active lag back is fraught with stretching of the ligaments that cause damage to the neck and spine.
Starting with the 2-3rd week the child begins to keep his head up lying on his stomach. The baby cannot hold it too long, however, he can keep it up for a couple of seconds. It is important to prevent falling of the head on the nose to avoid damage of the soft tissues.
Beginning from 1.5 months the neck muscles are strengthened, so the baby can hold the head up for several minutes. The position with the head up to 45 degrees allows to view the objects which are before the little one, which significantly broadens the outlook of the baby.
The babies begin to confidently hold their head up approximately from the 3rd month, when this happens earlier, perhaps the reason for this is the increased intra-cranial pressure, which can be eliminated by an experienced neurologist. To eliminate this ailment massages, special heating and other procedures are prescribed to the little ones. Development of the cervical vertebrae is directly linked to the development of the spinal cord, so the muscle strengthening of all babies occurs approximately equally.
When the baby starts to hold his head in a prone position, he still is unable to hold it exactly in the vertical position, therefore, it is necessary to hold the neck of the little one, lifting it up. Only to the 4th month the muscles will grow stronger so that the baby starts to keep his head up himself, and then you cannot worry about this.
How to Help Strengthen the Baby's Neck Muscles?
To help your child develop muscles, you can practice with him special physical exercises. For a start, these simple exercises can be recommended:
- put a baby on the tummy as often as possible. If you are careful not to keep him in this position at night, try to put him like this more during the day. In this position the baby begins to frequently lift his head up, thus developing the cervical vertebrae;
- you can sometimes use a special roller, which will help keep his head in a level position. Often the babies head lags on one side, resulting in torticollis. To avoid such troubles, it is worth to use special pillows and cushions of foam rubber, the main thing is not to lay the baby on them for a long time, so as not to disrupt the correct position of the neck;
- fitball helps to smooth the neck – putting a baby on ball belly down, you will give your baby an awkward position, so the baby begins to lift his head up; if some torticollis is outlined, the corrective measures should be taken as soon as possible. As a treatment for the little ones injections and baths, as well as warming up, rubbing and compresses are used;
- if the child has ceased to hold his head up, the cause of this may be low tone, but in most cases, however, a prerequisite to this fact will be climate change or drug treatment. To normalize the work of all organs, be sure to consult your doctor;
- when the newborn begins to hold his head up, do not leave his neck without support because the muscles are not yet strong enough to stay in the same position for a long time. Hold the back of the head when lifting the little one and do not sharply put him down when laying on a flat surface.
Timely assistance to the child to strengthen the cervical vertebrae can help avoid many problems later. By the way, when the baby starts to hold his head up himself, you can try putting him in the position of reclining on cushions or in a special mode of the stroller, and now you may not worry about tilting on the side or nid-nod.