The caregiver’s body is the first and foremost enabling environment, and babies need lots of time in contact with attentive and responsive adults.
From birth onwards, babies need to experience movement in space through being held. Rocking, side-to-side and up-and-down movements are soothing, enjoyable and very developmentally beneficial.
Provide comfortable seating both indoors and outdoors, so that adults can spend time with babies lying on their laps and upper body. Rocking chairs are especially useful.
Make the most of the outdoors for providing the tactile and visual stimulation that babies need in their first year.
Limit the time young babies spend in seats and other “containers” as this prevents physical development through movement and touch.
Provide a safe space on a warm firm surface, such as blanket on the floor or grass, so that young babies can lie on their backs to move, kick, stretch, find their hands and feet and look into the distance.
Give plenty of time for babies to discover and play with their hands and feet before offering them things to hold.
Gradually encourage babies to explore the space near them by putting interesting things beside them so they can reach, stretch, turn and roll towards them.
Have well-planned areas that allow babies maximum space to move, roll, stretch and explore in safety indoors and outdoors.
When babies begin to be able to move on their belly, provide a safe smooth and firm surface, such as a wooden floor or carpet.
Provide objects to be sucked, pulled, squeezed and held, to encourage sensory development along with hand use.