Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Welcome to Parenthood

As a paediatric physiotherapist I see lots of bubs who need a little prodding to get moving in the right direction. While all bubs develop their skills in their own time and at their own pace, some need their biggest fans (that’s you), to help them on their way. Starting early is the key, and if they could talk? Here’s what they would say…

I know I’m pretty sleepy – but I can have tummy time right from the instant I am born. Just make sure I am awake, and you are with me the whole time. I can lift my head to turn and clear my face but still need you by my side. On your chest to start is a good place. Soon enough though I’d like to do something different – over a bolster, over your legs, along your arm. It’s great to be off my back! 

When I’m spending more time awake, lie me on my side to play – it helps me bring my hands together and into my mouth (I didn’t even know I had hands!) Yum.  

While it was comfy in the womb, I was running out of space in the end – made it tough to turn my head, stretch my feet. So please make sure I’m looking in all directions. If my bassinette is in your room, I’ll always want to look over to you, so swap me around. That way I have to look both ways. Oh! And a firm mattress is easier for me to move (soft squishy surfaces are tough).

My feet. Cute I know. Can you tickle them, massage them, keep my socks off when I’m awake? Gives me a chance to stretch them out. 

I like pictures with contrast – big black stripes and dots. But what I really love is your face.

Picking me up can be tricky as my head isn’t very strong. If you roll me onto my side or my tummy to pick me up I get used to rolling, and I can work on my neck strength. 

When I’m ready to have a chat pop me on a slight incline (a cushion under my head and shoulders is perfect) this helps me see you and listen to what you are saying. Oh! And give me a chance to say something too (you need to stop talking). It won’t be much to start but you won’t be able to shut me up soon.

Gravity keeps me pinned to the floor. Bring my hands together and let me feel them against my face and my tummy so I get to learn about my body. Please don’t keep my hands swaddled up above my head – it makes it really hard to move them. The opposite with my legs though – swaddle them apart like a little froggy.

There’s not too much you need to do in the first few weeks to help your baby develop – they really are hardwired to get moving themselves. Lots of skin to skin contact, cuddles, talking, feeding and sleeping is what it’s all about. And looking after yourself – cause if you’re doing well, your baby is too!

Cathy Molloy is a paediatric physiotherapist at Just for Kids Physiotherapy on the Northern Beaches. For further support related to your child’s physical development call 9979 6609 or email