Physical development – birth to four months

Baby has been exercising in the womb for 8 months, and still needs lots more practise to learn how to move all the body parts.

Lower parts of baby’s brain control what movements baby can do, like sucking and holding the neck.

The thinking part starts to take over and soon baby learns to control the top of their body before arms and then legs.

Help baby gain motor skills (like muscle strength, coordination and balance) by:

  • giving baby massages to stimulate the balance and motion parts of baby’s brain
  • breastfeeding for the first few months, which can help baby develop fine and gross motor skills faster
  • encouraging and praising baby when they are ready to learn a new skill, like smiling, mouthing and neck control.
Published — 20 February 2019 Last updated — 11 March 2019

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