1. Use a baby swing, either indoors or out in the playground, but never leave a baby unattended.
2. Babies love bouncy seats that reward their own movement with extra motion feedback.
3. Baby bouncers that hang in the doorway are great for older babies (from around eight months) to create their own, very satisfying vertical movement. These bouncers strengthen leg muscles and help babies learn new motor rhythm which they might not otherwise explore.
4. Incorporate a daily buggy ride into your baby’s routine.
5. Carry young infants in a baby sling. Not only does it provide a lot of movement, it also puts your baby closer to touch, smell, voice and heartbeat, where they feel most secure and can best learn from you.
6. Carry older babies and toddlers in a baby backpack, which provides many of the same benefits of a sling, plus altitude, so baby can see what’s going on. I found the backpack essential for my curious toddlers when I was trying to cook dinner.
7. Swing with your baby – dancing is fun, musical rhythmic and stimulating on many levels. Older children will enjoy see-saws, merry-go-rounds, or games such as ring-a-ring-of-roses.
8. Finally beware of planting babies in removable car seats for much of the day. Although it is tempting to take a sleeping baby in his car seat when you go shopping or to an older child’s ballet class, he will miss out on so much movement and muscle strengthening opportunities he would otherwise have if he were being held or carried in a sling or baby carrier.
More baby and toddler tips from Junior:
Ten games to play with your toddler
How to have fun with mirrors