Active Baby: How Much is Normal?
Babies are best known for sleeping, pooping, and crying. You may not think of the first few weeks or months of your baby’s life as a time when it’s very active. Did yo
While your baby may not be running through the park or throwing a ball, there is still plenty of activity for your baby to engage in during the early stages of its life.
Read this guide to learn how active your baby should be.
Related: How Long Should a Newborn Sleep?
In the Womb
Don’t forget that baby activity starts in the womb! While there’s nothing like feeling that first kick from your baby, you may wonder if your baby is kicking too much after a while.
If you feel like your baby is moving around and kicking a lot in the womb, your doctor will likely tell you that there’s no such thing as too much movement in utero. As your pregnancy progresses, your baby will likely become even more active.
The first few kicks from your baby will likely be gentle, but they can be surprisingly forceful after a while. Again, this is nothing to be concerned about, as it shows that your baby is gaining strength.
However, you should talk to your OBGYN if you notice that your baby becomes significantly less active in the womb. While not always the case, it may indicate a potential problem. Your baby might still be healthy, but you may need additional monitoring.
When Can My Baby Sit Up?
Your baby can typically hold its head up without support at around two months. It should also be able to push its arms up while lying on its stomach.
When your baby is four months old, it should be able to hold its head up for an extended period without support. At six months, your baby should start to sit up with little to no support. Once they’re nine months old, they should be able to sit up for an extended time. However, they still may require help getting in and out of the sitting position.
Once your baby is twelve months old, it should be able to sit up fully with no support. Tummy time can help strengthen your baby’s neck muscles and upper body. Encourage your baby to practice sitting up at around six months of age, as this will help strengthen their muscles so they can eventually do it alone.
Related: How to Hold a Baby
When Can My Baby Roll Over?
Your baby should start rolling over at about four months of age, and it will begin by rocking from side to side, a critical motion for eventually being able to roll over.
Your baby may also roll from its tummy to its back. At six months, your baby might be able to roll over in both directions. Many babies will spend time rolling over from their tummy to their back before they can roll over from the back to the belly.
You can place your baby on a blanket on the floor to encourage rolling over. Place a book or a toy on one side of your baby so that it reaches for it and practices the motion of rolling over.
When Can My Baby Crawl?
Your baby will start to rock back and forth at six months of age. It may begin to crawl backward before moving forward. At nine months, your baby will begin to creep and crawl.
Some babies also do a commando-style crawl that involves pulling themselves across the floor with their arms. Let your baby play around on the floor in a safe space to encourage crawling development. You can place your baby’s favorite toy just out of its reach and encourage them to reach for it.
Click here to learn when your baby should start talking!
When Can My Baby Walk?
Your baby will be walking and running around the house before you know it. It should be able to pull itself up from the floor into a standing position between 9 and 12 months. Your baby must hold onto furniture to stand up properly during this time.
Your baby will likely take its first steps between 8 and 18 months, with most starting to walk around the 12-month mark. Talk to your pediatrician if your baby hasn’t started walking by the 18-month mark. Your baby will likely be a late walker if:
- It doesn’t sit up without help
- It doesn’t try to babble or talk
- It doesn’t show interest in games
- It doesn’t roll over in either direction
- It doesn’t attempt to get your attention through its actions
You can also prepare your baby for its first steps by playing together and encouraging movement. Moving around will help your baby build its muscles, which will help it eventually walk and run.
It’s normal for your baby to take a few tumbles when first learning to walk. While you can’t save your baby from every fall, you can prevent injuries by child-proofing your home. Put locks on cabinets and doors to keep your baby away from unsafe chemicals.
Install a child-proof gate if you have stairs to prevent your baby from taking a tumble. Put padding on sharp furniture corners, and keep pots, pans, and other counter items against the wall or locked away.
Click here to learn what to do if your baby bumps its head!
Time to Help Your Baby Be Active
While it may not always seem like it, babies become very active during their first year. If you notice your baby isn’t hitting these milestones, you can talk to your doctor about what to do next.