EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT WITH LIFTING THE HEAD
One of the top ten Stellar Caterpillar movement skills is the motor milestone of lifting the head. Baby Zizu demonstrates the movement in the above photo. From the tummy time position she has learned to lift her head and see the world around her. She learned this skill in her first Stellar Caterpillar lesson!
BABY MILESTONES AND VISUAL PERSPECTIVES
One of the most important developmental changes baby experiences with each motor milestone is an emotional one. When baby becomes comfortable in tummy time, she develops a few new skills. Perhaps the most important is the action of lifting her head up to see the world around her. This is a very exciting discovery for her as she lifts her head up off of the floor and sees activity, people and objects that are very interesting to her. This is a different perspective from the one she sees while lying on her back. The curiosity to see the world from this new perspective motivates her to continue to lift her head, strengthening her neck and back muscles. The experience of discovering a new outlook on her own, with no help from mom or dad, and reaping the reward of seeing much more of her environment, is emotionally satisfying to her.
MILESTONES: BABY CURIOSITY AND BABY CONFIDENCE
We’ve discussed the disadvantages of putting baby on her feet before she can do so on her own. Most of the points discussed relate to anatomical development (bones and muscles). Another disadvantage that comes from forcing baby into a positon she can not repeat on her own is that she becomes frustrated. When baby is held on her feet or put in an exersaucer, she gets used to seeing the world from that perspective. Then, when back on her tummy, she will begin to cry when she can’t replicate the experience on her own. Without the aid of her parent or the contraption (jumper, etc.), she can not see around her. The emotional development baby gains from learning motor skills on her own cultivates confidence, curiosity, and joy. These are emotional milestones which go hand in hand with motor milestones. As one of the wise grandmothers put it, “The ability to see the world around her becomes a reward for what she has learned to do all by herself.”