A running joke around the Best Practices office involves me teaching daycare providers about, well … anything. You see, due to my years of elementary school experience, my knowledge of the development of children younger than PreK age is a bit comical.
“You need a refresher course on the regulations related to diapering infants and toddlers? Sure! Hold on, and let me get a dish towel and some duct tape.”
“What’s the best way to soothe a crying baby? Have you tried holding him like a football? Hut! Hut! Hut!”
You see? Comical.
Small people fascinate me. Their physical development during the first few years of life is amazingly remarkable. I have been reading a bit lately about how to assess if a baby is developing as expected, especially in the physical development realm. Parent magazine online recently posted “6 Moves that Show Your Toddler is Developing”. Several of these were familiar, but a couple stood out to me, including this one:
This movement is surprisingly difficult for a toddler to master, largely because it engages the glutes and the quadriceps (which normal walking doesn’t). Your toddler may figure out how to do it as early as 15 months, but don’t worry if it hasn’t happened by the time she turns 2. One fun way to encourage backward walking is by giving her a pull toy. “It’s hard to walk and pull a dog on a string correctly beside you, so your child will likely have to turn around and pull it toward her body,” says Dr. Prosser. She’ll soon start walking backward naturally as the toy comes to her.
Each of the six moves also includes recommendations on how to help the child develop each skill. Check out the full list at Parents.com