Here are some physical activities and basic movement skills that you can help your infant develop in their first months of life.
At four months you will start to have more hours of awake time to fill with new activities for your baby. You still want to ensure you have as much variety in postures as possible.
Tummy time is still important and your baby may start to roll over. Rolling is another important motor skill for them to master. The act of rolling over has many positive implications for the development of their neuromuscular system. In fact, we use this exercise now for several of our elite athletes as a warm up and as a technique of rehabilitation for low back pain.
The play mat is a good place to observe your child working on these skills. Never force them into a movement they do not want to do, but encourage movement by placing objects around them that they are interested in investigating.
Another very important motor skill that normally will start around this age is crawling, followed closely by climbing (and then your life gets really busy!). By creating play tunnels and placing toys far apart in open areas you will encourage your child to crawl and climb.
The most important thing to think about is to provide your child with some designated time each day to simply be down on the floor playing and exploring. If you have this “active time” prior to a nap, you will find they will fall asleep easier and will sleep for longer periods of time (giving you a much needed rest!).