HEAD CONTROL

The Basics

Why Does It Matter?

What Does Otteroo Have to Do With It?

Otteroo + Head Control Activities

The Basics

Have you ever noticed how your newborn baby stares at you with undivided attention?

Sure, your baby loves you, wants to grow up to be like you, and appreciates every those middle of the night feedings.

But, let’s be real here, the real reason your baby can’t keep his or her eyes off you is because newborn babies don’t have much of a choice.

You might take for granted that you can whip your head around in an instant 180 to check out that killer double stroller that just passed you at the playground. But, it will take you newborn months to develop this skill (and it’ll take them decade to truly appreciate the sleekness of that amazing European -designed stroller).

Never fear, though, babies slowly build up the muscle strength in their neck, shoulders and trunk,while figuring out how to balance that disproportionately large and heavy (but, adorable) head.

There are things you can do to help your baby build up those muscles so they can lose the brokenbobblehead look.All the while, you’ll be supporting your baby’s physical motor development. But, added bonus, you will also hlep develop his or her cognitive and social emotional development too.

How Does This All Work?

Babies have solid head control once they can hold their head up without any support and can turn their head left and right on their own.This typically happens once the baby is five or six months old.

Here’s what you can expect in the meantime:

Month I: If you have ever seen a new parent hand their newborn over to someone else, it looks like each person is handling a bomb.Treating it so gingerly and carefully, as if it’s about to explore.There’s good reason for that. Newborns can’t keep their heads up without your support. (Note:The only thing that will actually explode is your baby’s diaper.)

Months 2-3: Slowly, that head is getting more stable, as your baby is beginning to develop the comfort, curiosity and confidence grows, so does the neck and muscle strength in her neck and shoulders.

Months 3-4: Your baby is starting to get this down (or, in this case, up).You’ve spent months trying to keep her entertained with silly faces and one-sided conversations during tummy time and, although you’ve made a fool out of yourself in front of your spouse, it’s paying off.Your baby will finally be able to raise her head steadily during tummy time, and then lie it back down with control.

Months 4-5: If you thought it was exciting when your baby lifted her head off the ground during tummy time, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Next comes the more difficult task of raising her head off the ground while lying on her back. Finally, head control mastered.

 

Why Does It Matter?

Motor Development

Babies physically develop in a predictable pattern.Their bodies develop from head to feet, and they develop from the innermost parts of their bodies (torso) to the outermost (fingers). (Although, there can be exceptions to this sequence.)

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why developing head control is so important to acquiring other motor development skills. Once your baby is able to control her head positioning and movement, she will then be able to start reaching, rolling over, sitting, crawling and then, walking.

Perceptual Development

Now that your baby has some control of her head, and she’s starting to notice what’s going on in the world around her, she’s able to track.That means she sees objects right in front of her, and she turns her head to follow them. She does thiss by intentionally guiding her head and gazing toward the object. Simple for you and me; life -changing for her. Soon after, your baby will use these new skills to get hand -eye coordination down and then will start to reach [insert hyperlink here]

Social Emotional Development

All of this head control is helping your baby’s chances of winning Miss Congeniality one day because it has a huge impact on her social emotional skills. Once she can control her head, all of this will happen:

  • Baby will build a close relationship with you as she purposely looks to you and
    communicates face-to-face with you.
  • She feels supported when looking to you for reassurance.
  • Baby discovers empathy by learning to read your facial expressions and emotions (like, she’s going to soon figure out why you make that face when you change her dirty diaper).
  • She learns to control emotions by turning away from distress or distractions.
  • Baby builds self-confidence as she learns to make her body move.

What Does Otteroo Have To Do With This?

Otteroo floatie + water’s buoyancy = easier for your baby to develop head control.

It helps in two ways:

1. The lack of gravitational pull keeps baby’s head more stable and her gaze steadier.

2.  Keeps your hands free which allows you to interact with baby.

  • Building baby’s gross motor skills
  • Sharpening her visual perception and spatial reasoning skills
  • Stimulating baby’s senses and desier to observe the world around her.

There are exercises you can do to build your baby’s skills. Read about them here [Insert
hyperlink to the Head Control Activity page]