You might not think that your baby needs exercise, but he/she does. Even very small babies can benefit from some simple exercises. Being physically active helps your little one build the muscles necessary for crawling and later, walking. Also, if you have troubles getting your child to sleep, exercise can help with that; just like adults, babies get tired and sleep better when they are worn out physically.
Here are a few exercises to get you started:
At this age, your baby can't do much for himself, but he is learning the whole time. At this point, he is learning to control head and neck muscles, as well as his extremities.
Deep Knee Bend
Take your baby's feet and gently press his knees to his tummy. Straighten them, then push back again. After a few times, you might notice that your baby starts pushing back at you. This is fine, but don't force his legs to bend.
Hold Your Head High
Put your infant upright, against your shoulder. In this position (commonly used for burping), your baby can practice lifting his head, even if only for a second or two. Make sure he has good support along his back so he can't fall backwards.
This is good for babies of all ages. Lay your child face down on a relatively firm surface. Foam floor mats work well. During the first month or two, your baby won't do much in this position, but as he gets a bit older, he will try to turn his head from side to side and lift it. Eventually, he will push himself up on his forearms to look around.
Now your baby is ready to start playing. His motor skills will be developing at a rapid pace now and you'll notice that he starts grabbing things more successfully. Hand coordination is big during this phase and your little one will also enjoy kicking his feet.
Bouncy Chair Fun
Fisher Price makes bouncy seats that have kick and play sensors located under the chair. When your baby kicks, it lights up a toolbar and plays music. At this age, your baby will start to understand cause and effect and will soon be kicking like crazy to light that bar up!
Lay your baby on his back on the bed and offer your two index fingers. When he grabs them successfully, gently lift your hands. Chances are, your little one will let go pretty fast, but the more you play, the more he'll hang on. Lift and lower so he won't fall over from an upright position and get hurt.
Your baby won't be quite ready to sit up until the end of this phase or beyond, but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy exercising those sitting muscles! Sit your baby up on a bed and let go of him, holding your hands a couple of inches from his body. When he lists to one side, gently set up him upright again. This lets your child work those important trunk muscles and learn about balance.