Motor Skills

Your newborn's reflexes

You may have noticed that your baby holds tight to any finger she can grab. This is a natural reflex that your baby's body has developed to help her through the early months of life. your baby has a couple more reflexes up her tiny sleeve, and you can check on them to keep up with your baby's development.

Motor skills at 5 months

My how your baby has grown in the last 5 months! And more than just her body, it's remarkable how much her physical skills have grown, too!

From grabbing to pincer grasp

your baby has started to grasp the concept of, well, grasping! This might sound like a trivial skill, but it's actually going to help your baby for the rest of her life.

Signs baby is getting ready to start crawling

Babies generally crawl before they walk, but what do they do before they crawl? There are a few signs that most babies give before they take that last (metaphorical) step towards crawling.

Stages of crawling

It's not like your baby can just get up and crawl any time. The process is pretty complex - this being said, you can definitely be on the lookout for certain signs that she is starting to try!

What is scooting?

Scooting: all the babies are doing it. Well, not all. But lots do! If your baby starts to scoot, you can be sure that she is at an important stage of motor development.

Cross-crawling - the fine art of putting one knee in front of the other

The amount of effort that goes into certain everyday behaviors really is incredible if you stop to think about it. One such movement is cross-crawling in babies, which is kind of like the adult equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time - simple-sounding, but tricky, and impressive once you get it right. your baby might be starting to cross-crawl, and if so, that's a pretty big deal!

When do babies start pulling up?

When was the last time you did a pull-up? The kind your baby is going to be doing soon requires a lot less upper-body strength, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have to work just as hard to get there.

A toddler walking timeline

your baby has the world at her feet - just as soon as she can master the fine art of standing and move on to walking. Once she does, though, she could start moving pretty fast, so it's a good idea to have a picture in your head of what's coming.

Pointing as communication

It'll be rude if your baby keeps it up when she's a little older, but right now, pointing as a way of communicating is kind of a big deal for her.

What happens when my child starts climbing?

You may have thought you were signing up for a "kid" as in "child," not "kid" as in "baby mountain goat," but if your baby decides it's time to have a climbing phase, it might get a little hard to tell the difference.

When do babies start walking up the stairs?

Are you a hiker? Pretty soon, your baby might be too!

Is your toddler ready to hold a crayon yet?

It's a question every baby has to answer for herself at some point. Deep down, am I really ready to hold a crayon? Oh, and have I reached the corresponding developmental stage?

Your toddler the escape artist

If your toddler jumps into the possibility of adventure feet-first, it can make keeping an eye on her a little tricky.

What if my child still isn't walking?

Walking is one of those milestones it's easy to get antsy about if your baby doesn't start moving towards it fast enough, but the window for a normal, healthy timeline of first steps is a wide one.

Climbing toddlers

Is it a mountain goat, or is it your toddler? Maybe neither of them will answer to "hey, kid!" but they might both be climbing pretty high these days. Only one probably has hooves, though.

The development of handedness in toddlers

Now that your baby might be getting ready to join you at the dinner table, it's natural to wonder if she is going to be a lefty or a righty when you're thinking about seating arrangements, but you might not know for sure right away.

Should my toddler be in swimming lessons?

Maybe your baby's destined to be a landlubber her whole life, but you'll never know until you give her the chance to try the high seas!

When will my toddler learn to jump?

Some skills your toddler learns over the first few years of her life are more obvious than others. Jumping for the first time might not get its own page in the scrapbook, but it's still an important gross motor skill.

Practical ways to practice fine motor skills

Fine motor skills may not be as flashy as the gross motor skills like twirling, leaping, and hopping on one foot that your baby might be aspiring to these days, but they're just as important.

What to do when your toddler picks up a "throwing things" habit

The old saying goes, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water," but it doesn't say anything about what to do when she starts hurling things out of the bathtub herself.

Adding physical activity to a city-dwelling toddler's life

City tots have plenty of advantages, but big city streets can present their own challenges to active toddlers, too.

Encouraging self-sufficiency in your toddler

your baby can walk on her own, can (mostly) talk on her own, so what's next?

The evolution of a toddler's pencil grip

She's still a few years away from her first epic poem, but the ingredients that are going to form your baby's literacy are already coming together, from her ABCs to her understanding of how books work to... her handwriting?

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