Monday, June 11, 2012

Motor development in the 6 month old

Last week’s column ended with a glimpse of a 4-6 month old positioned with some support in sitting position, practicing fine motor skills of reaching and grasping. Let’s look at what will be happening in the next few months.
Our little guy will continue all this great practice of eye/hand coordination and once in a while he will tumble over. If he has tumbled forward, he is probably stuck on his tummy with one arm trapped under him. Wriggling from side to side and at first with a little help from a parent will free that arm. You can almost hear him thinking, “Now what,” in the first moments of looking at the world from a new perspective.
His motor development gives him two options for further development. One option is to crane his head over to one side, using gravity and the weight of his head to help him roll to one side. Another option is to tuck his chin and try to push his bottom up in the air as he attempts to get his knees under his little body.
The interesting thing to notice at this point in development is how all the parts of his body are so very dependent upon each other. He cannot isolate a movement. He can initiate a movement in one part of his body that leads his entire body to respond.
This stage of motor development gives him time to strengthen his muscles. Soon he will initiate the movement to come out of sitting to being on his tummy rather than relying on chance. He will quickly gain control of both arms, and have the strength and coordination to push up to hands and knees.
What happens next? ––Parents baby proof the house and new fun begins.

I’m Suzy Circle
Watch me spin
Round and round and round again

(Make a larger Suzy Circle and give children turns to ‘spin’ Suzy.

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