All parents want to ensure that their children are hitting their milestones on time and developing optimally.
There are so many things that parents can do with their babies to positively impact their development, and even help their babies reach their milestones faster and more optimally.
A study titled “Longitudinal associations between infant movement behaviours and development” aimed to investigate the relationship between infant movement behaviors and development over time. They looked at infant physical activity such as tummy time, versus sedentary activity such as back time, screen time, reading time, and restricted movement. The researchers followed a group of infants from birth to 12 months and assessed their movement behaviors and developmental milestones.
Let’s break down the top 4 things from this study that you can do to help your baby reach their milestones faster and more optimally, and one bonus tip that we have seen work miracles in the hundreds of kids we take care of in our practice!
1. Lots of tummy time
Higher tummy time across time points was significantly associated with higher gross motor and personal-social development scores over time, higher total AIMS (Alberta Infant Motor Scale) scores at 6 months, and earlier acquisition of all gross motor milestones. In contrast, higher back time across time points was significantly associated with lower total AIMS scores at 6 months and the later acquisition of assisted standing, assisted walking, and independent walking.
Higher tummy time was significantly associated with earlier acquisition of all six major gross motor milestones (independent sitting, crawling, assisted standing, assisted walking, independent standing, and independent walking).
In contrast, higher back time across time points was significantly associated with a later acquisition of assisted standing, assisted walking, and independent walking.
2. No screen time
A significant negative association between screen time and the problem solving development score was observed. Overall, the study discouraged sedentary behavior.
3. Lots of reading time
Higher reading time across time points was significantly associated with higher fine motor, gross motor, personal-social, and total development scores over time. Reading/storytelling was consistently associated with better cognitive development in infants.
4. No prolonged bouts of restrained time
Being restrained is obviously a safety requirement in several situations for infants. However, prolonged time regularly spent in situations that restrict movement can displace the time infants have to play and develop gross motor skills.
Higher restrained time across time points was significantly associated with a later acquisition of supported walking. Some longitudinal associations were also observed between higher restrained time and less advanced gross motor development.
5. Neurologically-based chiropractic care
The absolute best thing you can do for your baby’s brain development is getting them checked regularly by a neurologically-focused pediatric chiropractor like us! As pediatric chiropractors, we remove stress to their sensitive nervous systems and help their brain and body communicate efficiently, so children can reach their milestones and their fullest potential!
Following these guidelines will place your baby on a faster and more optimal track to reaching their milestones, and help them build a strong, sturdy foundation for all of their future health, learning and development!