Baby development isn’t linear; how your baby learns to master skills

Have you ever wondered how your baby just rolls one day? It is a combination of experience, muscle strength and sometimes luck and a bit of gravity, but over time these movements become much more purposeful and activated and executed with control and ease.

Developmental milestones are a guideline only but can often be the source of worry for many parents. It is really worth remembering that development is not a linear process; babies can often to and fro between doing something amazing like rolling and then not doing it again for some time. From birth, children explore different schemas of learning and over time these schemas or patterns of behaviour increase in number and complexity; each schema serving and complimenting another and over time becoming integrated.

Often without us even realising, our babies are actually learning small parts of a skill that then build up and piece together to form the whole task. It is like they are jumping a series of winding stepping stones rather than running down one long continuous path toward a skill. Components such as neck extension, weight shifting, hip dissociation, shoulder stability, confidence, motivation, may all be being worked on whilst not actually seeming to do the task for some time.

Providing opportunities for babies to explore movement, to push up and move against gravity, to receive sensory stimulation, including vestibular input (the balance mechanism inside the inner ear that provides information about head position and balance) as well as proprioceptive feedback (deep pressure to receptors in the joints and muscles that feeds back to the brain about body awareness and how to judge force of movements) helps them cross each of those stepping stones. If your baby doesn’t get a chance at it, they won’t get to enjoy it, practice it, or consolidate it.

This is where a Baby Yoga class is an ideal opportunity for your baby to experience developmental play in action. Baby yoga builds up from simple holds in your arms to more involved floor-based play and gives your baby the chance to perform different learning schemas required for movement and cognition. All whilst providing tremendous amounts of sensory input through song, touch, movement, repetition, as well as love, connection and fun with their favourite person in the world, you.

Love Carly xx

Blossom and Berry Team

Atherton,F.and Nutbrown, C. (2013) Understanding Schemas and Young Children: from Birth to Three London, United Kingdom: Sage.

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