Babies on their backs

Many new skills will emerge in this simple position over the first 6 months of life and the opportunity for your baby to play and explore here is endless.

So make the most of it:

  • Your baby will achieve midline control at 3 months of age. This is when her head, hands and legs come actively to a centre point of her body. She will touch her hands together, look at her hands and then bring them into her mouth, holding this position momentarily ‘in the midline’.
  • Reaching up to a mobile or touching your face is a milestone around 4 months of age.
  • By 5 months, baby with be grabbing at her feet with both hands.
  • Baby will also most likely be able to roll from her back onto her tummy at this stage. (So keep baby safe and securely held on changing tables and beds).
  • At 6 months she will be putting her feet into her mouth and exploring her legs with her hands.

Try these ideas to make back lying both “fun and functional” for your baby:

  • From 3 months of age, place a play gym suspended with noisy and colourful rattles above baby’s shoulders/hips. Encourage your baby to swat or reach, and kick at the toys.
  • Place a small rolled towel behind your baby’s head. This will encourage her neck to flex a little and a ‘chin tuck’ will enable her to focus on your face more easily, whilst assisting her hands to touch and hold one another in the midline.
  • At 3 months, start to practice rolling into side lying by guiding your baby’s leg across her body.
  • At 4 months place the rolled towel under your baby’s bottom. This will assist her in lifting her bent legs up off the floor, and enable her to reach for her knees with her little hands. As she explores and touches her legs, so too will she begin to exercise her core muscles!
  • By 5 months, baby will love the feeling of you clapping her hands onto her feet, rubbing her feet together and attaching foot rattles onto her ankles.

Don’t forget to spend time in all 3 positions of tummy lying, side lying and back lying. Each position has an important role to play in achieving the milestone of sitting.

Nicky Lasch
Physiotherapist