Physical therapy exercises for infants are designed to help develop their head control and neck strength. Head holding is an important milestone in an infant physical development. Here are some physical therapy exercises and activities that can help improve head holding in infants:
1. Tummy Time:
Time: Place your baby on their stomach while they are awake and supervised. This position encourages them to lift their head to look around. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the time as the baby becomes more comfortable.
2. Neck Flexion and Extension:
Gently guide your baby’s head to look down toward their chest (neck flexion) and then up toward the ceiling (neck extension). Repeat this motion several times to strengthen the neck muscles.
3. Side-to-Side Head Movements:
Gently guide the baby’s head to turn to the left and right sides to encourage lateral neck muscle strength.
4. Chin Tucks:
Ask your baby to tuck their chin toward their chest and then lift it back up, which helps strengthen the front neck muscles.
5. Head Lifts:
While your baby is lying on their back, encourage them to lift their head off the surface for a few seconds and then lower it. Gradually increase the number of repetitions and the duration of the lifts.
6. Head Rotations:
In a sitting or supported sitting position, have your baby gently rotate their head from side to side.
7. Head Tilts:
Encourage your baby to tilt their head to one side, bringing their ear closer to their shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
8. Gentle Resistance:
Resistance: Apply gentle resistance to the baby’s head in various directions (up, down, side-to-side) using your hand or a soft resistance band to challenge the neck muscles.
9. Visual Tracking Activities:
Use colorful and engaging toys or objects to encourage your baby to visually track from
10. Mirror Play:
Place your baby in front of a child-safe, unbreakable mirror to encourage them to look at their reflection and make funny faces, which can help strengthen neck muscles and improve head control.
11. Parent-Baby Interaction:
Interact with your baby by talking to them, making eye contact, and encouraging them to turn their head toward you or different sounds in the room.
12. Supportive Positions:
Use rolled towels or cushions to support your baby’s shoulders or neck during play or supervised tummy time to help maintain head control.
13. Strengthening Activities:
Encourage your baby to reach for toys while in a supported sitting position, promoting upper body strength and indirectly supporting head control.
These exercises should be conducted in a safe and supervised environment. It’s important to tailor the activities to your baby’s specific needs and capabilities. Always be patient and gentle
with your baby during these exercises to ensure their comfort and safety. If you have any concerns about your baby’s head control or development, consult with a paediatrician or a
paediatric physical therapist for guidance and support.