From the first moment of his life, the child is constantly being assessed in terms of neurological standards. This is the first focus of the eye, and voice tracking, and much more. And among these parameters, parents are most often concerned about the question: “When do children begin to hold their heads?” What is the value of this skill and how to help the baby master it? Let's try to figure it out.
Skill and its meaning
So why is it necessary to know when the baby should hold his head? Pediatricians and pediatric neurologists believe that this skill indicates that the muscles are gradually gaining the correct tone, and the baby is already beginning to show curiosity, using such sensory organs as hearing and vision. In addition, the moment when the baby begins to confidently hold his head can tell doctors about his physiological and mental development. And therefore it is very important to record how attempts to implement this skill,and its successful final formation.
So, the stages in mastering this ability are traditionally considered as follows:
- 3-4 weeks - the first attempts to raise the head to the same level with the body;
- 6-8 weeks - confidently raising the head to the same level with the body;
- 2-2, 5 months - baby holds head slightly above shoulder line;
- 3 months - the baby holds his head confidently and even turns it from side to side.
It should be noted that the presented stages only partially shed light on how long the child holds the head on his own, they give an average. Such a reservation is based on the fact that parents can independently spur this process.
Help in formation
Muscle weakness is a natural state of the baby after birth. But this position should be a signal to parents that they need to help their baby develop them gently, including the neck muscles.
This is easy enough to do, but, of course, subject to regular adherence to the rules of physical development.
So, the first thing parents are obliged to do in order not to find out when the children begin to hold their heads at three months is to lay the child in the “lying on his stomach” position. Such procedures should begin no earlier than the moment when the umbilical wound is completely healed. In this case, the procedure starts from one minute and is brought up to five. They should be carried out only when the child is awake.
Secondis a daily light massage and exercises prescribed and shown by a pediatrician, aimed at strengthening all the muscles of the body.
Third is the control over the position of the baby during sleep. In this case, parents distribute the load on different muscle groups, which gently stimulates their development.
These three activities will help parents see their baby's development and not wonder when babies start holding their heads.
Despite the fact that the above stages are recognized by pediatricians and neurologists as conditional, there are still cases when “failures” occur in the formation of this skill. All of them are considered pathological, which means that parents should know about them in order to eliminate the negative consequences in time.
The first case is an early self-holding of the head. In this case, we are talking about the fact that a baby under the age of one month fixes its head for a long time. This is a signal that the child may have increased muscle tone or intracranial pressure. So, you should seek help from a neurologist.
The second case is the inability to fix the head at the age of over three months. In this case, we can talk about both a physiological deviation and the carelessness of parents.
The question of when babies start holding their heads and the answer to it, as demonstrated above, is really important. Indeed, the joint work of parents, doctors and the baby depends on how quickly he will master the rest of the skills:sitting, crawling and walking.