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Supporting physical development in early childhood
Supporting physical development in early childhood

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6.1 Floor time

Car seats and bouncing chairs are convenient but can restrict babies’ movements if they are there for too long. Spending time on the floor promotes movement, especially when their parent or carer is there too. Lying on their backs, babies lift their legs and grasp their feet, developing their proprioception and strengthening their abdominal muscles.

A baby on the floor doing tummy time
Figure 9

‘Tummy time’ strengthens muscles in the back, neck and arms. Placing a few toys close by encourages your baby to focus her/his vision and begin to reach. Not all babies like tummy time straight away and very young babies might feel safer lying on your chest (only do this whilst you’re awake) before gradually moving to the floor.

It is important to give a baby some tummy time every day, you can start with a short time and build up gradually.