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Family Matters: Beach Ball


Beach BallWhen my boys were born, I think my husband and I experienced something a lot of couples go through. I wanted to cuddle the fragile baby tenderly, and their dad wanted to toss them in the air and make them laugh until they spit up.

The truth is that babies need a little of both (I still don’t advocate tossing them in the air but I digress). Babies 0-6 months old need different kinds of stimulation. Most flourish with close-body cuddling and more kinetic activities, such as swinging, rocking or even being rolled back and forth on a beach ball.

Yep, a beach ball. I found this activity when searching for something “more physical” my husband could do with our little ones.

When baby is old enough to hold his head up, get a beach ball or exercise ball and deflate it slightly so it has some give to it. Place baby tummy-down on the ball. While supporting him (could be holding his legs or torso, depending on the age and stability of the baby), roll the ball slightly back and forth. This is almost sure to produce giggles!

This strengthens his neck, shoulders, torso and helps promote muscle tone and balance. You can talk or sing at the same time to make it more fun. You can even try rolling him back and forth in front of a mirror so he’s more inclined to look up.

You don’t have to do this for long: stop when baby has had enough.


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