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Baby's Milestones: From Tummy Time to Cruising

Your baby's physical development can be tracked by her change in movement. Your baby first begins to roll from one side to the other, and then back again. Then your baby learns to sit. Maybe scooting comes next, followed by crawling. The stage between crawling and walking is called cruising. This is where your baby holds on to furniture, people, or whatever she can grab to support herself while she moves around. Each of these milestones is fun and important.


When playing on the floor, you may wish to lay down a clean blanket when your baby is very small. This will cover any small things you may have missed with the vacuum. Warn other people in the house that the baby is on the floor, and keep pets clear of her to avoid injury to your little one.

Tummy Time

Tummy time is a way for your child to build muscles in her upper body. As she learns to push up on her arms, she'll gain arm strength. Your baby will also gain strength in her neck muscles, which are used to help your baby lift and turn her head. These are important skills for every baby to learn.

In addition to fundamental development time, tummy time can be playtime—a chance to look around and explore. For very young babies, simply put a mirror to one side and let her enjoy talking to the "other" baby. As your baby gets older and learns to lift her head, other toys may be fun for her. Eventually, as your baby expands her movement base, you can place toys slightly out of her reach so she can practice reaching for the toy.

Don't be afraid to get right down on the floor with your baby. Lie down next to him and talk to him while he's small, or lie head to head and rest on your chin, watching him while he watches you. It is also okay to simply leave the baby to play on his own, as long as you always have him in your sight.

E Fact

Remember, baby gates are not just for keeping your baby out, but they also work to keep your baby in. This allows you to give your baby complete freedom in a room you have thoroughly safeguarded, without your having to worry that she will get into something dangerous in the next room.


Cruising is a wonderful time of anticipation. It's clear that walking is just around the corner, and you're ready. Perhaps you have cameras poised in every room, waiting to capture those first wild steps and your baby's excited face. However, the cruising milestone is also an important one. Unfortunately, it brings some dangers that you may not be expecting.

Now is when it is very important to get down on your hands and knees and assess your home for potential dangers. Are there glass objects on the table that your baby could grab? What about power cords that could trip the baby or even be chewed on? Can your baby reach the cords hanging from the window blinds?

Anything that could potentially be dangerous to your baby needs to be removed or separated from your baby. This includes gating off areas that could cause problems, like stairs, rooms with slick floors, or rooms with sharp-cornered furniture. Take these precautions early to save yourself stress later on.

More on: Babies

From The Everything Mother's First Year Book Copyright © 2005, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


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