Understanding The Milestone
All the tummy time, head control and muscle coordination brings the child to this stage of being able to push up to elbows and stay on stomach. It prepares her for further feats of strength. She may perform motions like rocking on stomach, kicking her legs, and swimming with the arms. While in this position, she is developing her core strength. As she shifts her weight from one side to another, she’s also building strong arms and learning to coordinate her shoulder muscles. Eventually, this leads to upper body strength necessary for rolling, sitting up, and crawling.
There’s another thing happening in the backdrop of neural refinement. She’s losing inborn reflexes, becoming more deliberate in her actions.
Around the first month, most babes lift their heads off the floor.
By 2nd-3rd they use their forearms to support themselves during tummy-time.
And by 4th-5th month (about now!) they can push on their hands with arms fully extended, to prop themselves up like a snake rising.
It might as well take quite a few kids 6 months reach here, learning to acquire postural control, and strength in the neck, core and shoulders, building the foundation for all other motor moves.
Baby Steps To Growth/Strides
This can’t be emphasized enough! Engage in TUMMY-TIME.
Place a mirror or dangle an attractive toy in front of him(by now his vision is better)
Converse with him, and encourage him to look up
To boost this further, roll up a small blanket or soft cloth, place it under his armpits so his chest is elevated. This makes it a tad easier for him to place his forearms in front of him for support.
You can give him some skin-time with you. Prop him on his belly, on your thighs or below, so his knees are bent in a kneeling position and his chest resting on your leg. Now coax him to put his hands down on the floor and slowly make him bear his weight. Stop if he doesn’t enjoy (*Don’t turn him upside down)
*Don’t place him on his tummy during his sleep-time
What Not To Fret About
If he’s not yet used to tummy-time he may be fussy. Usually tummy-time should begin early on. Kids with colic or acid re-flux will be even more bothered; you’ll have to be more patient, and try after most of the food has been digested post meal-time.
Not there yet!? He may have mostly spent time back sleeping, as well as being on infant seats and swings, depriving him of opportunity to develop upper body strength.
When to discuss with profs
If she doesn’t use both hands equally, favours one side over the other a lot, or has stiffness in limbs and/or trunk.
*Babies don’t develop hand preference(left/right-handedness) at such an early age.