Home > Babies and Toddlers > Babies > Baby's Growth and Development > Help Build Your Baby's Muscles

Help Build Your Baby's Muscles

By about six months, your baby gains at least some control over most of the muscles in her body. She doesn't really need your help to discover how to use them. She'll develop, practice, and master the physical skills with or without your help. Nonetheless, you may help move along the process (and have a lot of fun doing it) by helping your baby exercise and build her muscles.

Here's what you can do:

  • Give her the floor. Your baby will take advantage of almost any opportunity to explore her new skills and the world around her. So don't keep her cooped up all day in her crib, playpen, stroller, baby carrier, baby swing, or baby bouncer. Give her some free time as well.
  • Keep her mouth open. Limit her use of a pacifier to those times when she needs it to calm or soothe herself. Otherwise, give her free rein to explore safe objects through her favorite sense: taste.
  • Give her a hand. Help your baby to practice her new skills by pulling her to sitting or standing, giving her bottom a little push to help her roll over, and putting safe toys or other objects within her grasp for her to explore. But only provide as much help as she needs. Let her do as much of the work in sitting up, for example, as she can. Or start putting objects down next to her rather than in her hand.
  • Give her some exercise. Put your baby through a calisthenics routine: not to give her an intense workout, but just for fun. Help her to put her hands over her head or touch her toes or clap her hands or kiss her knees. Help her do sit-ups. Or play bouncing games on your knees.
  • Give her a round of applause. Praise her warmly and enthusiastically for each new skill she demonstrates.

More on: Babies


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby © 1997 by Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

family games

Everything you need for family game night!


The Latest and Greatest Book for Kids
Search our interactive Book Finder for the top new books for kids of all ages, brought to you by the latest book in the I, Funny series, "I Totally Funniest."

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Wintertime Neighborhood Games
Who says you have to stay inside when the temperature drops? Snowy weather is a great excuse to round up your neighborhood for some outdoor winter fun and games.

2015 Family-Friendly Oscar Nominees
The Oscar nominations are in, and they include several family-friendly movies. See which flicks earned a nod for Best Animated Feature Film and other awards.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks