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Moving and being active

Early years movement skills and development

The early development skills like sitting, crawling, standing and walking are also known as gross motor skills. Gross motor skills use the big muscles in the arms, legs and torso.

Happy Indian Muslim Family with little Daughter at Home

Keeping your baby safe while they learn

Your baby is going to become more mobile and interested in the world around them. You will need to supervise them. It can be hard to keep them safe.

It is important to make sure that your furniture is secure. Your baby will move around and start exploring your home by pulling themselves up on furniture. 

Visit the Institute for Health Visiting Safety in the Home/Falls page for information on how to babyproof and secure your home.

Ways to keep your baby safe whilst they are learning:

Do

  • start learning on soft surfaces like carpets or playmats
  • avoid stairs
  • always be within reach of your baby
  • keep the space clear of any obstacles like magazines that could cause your baby to trip
  • keep your baby away from door hinges, radiators, radiator pipes and fireplaces, 

Don’t

  • do not leave hard or sharp objects out around your home
  • do not stand or walk your baby on high surfaces like beds or sofas
  • do not have any hot or boiling liquid like a tea or coffee around when teaching your baby to walk
  • do not leave your baby unsupervised on a baby-changing table, your baby may roll off the table

Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

All babies develop at different rates. The information below aims to give you ideas to help your baby develop skills through play and exploring the world around them. 

Learning to...

Mother and baby on floor with soft fabric ball. Baby is laying on their stomach on a rug, in a living room.

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Learning to sit

The ability to sit gives your baby more independence. Find information on supported sitting and helping your child sit independently.

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Learning to crawl

Crawling is the first way babies can move around independently. Find information on the different crawling positions and encouraging your child to crawl.

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