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How To Tell If Your Baby Is Ready To Hold Their Head Up Without Support

Published: (Updated: ) in Moms News by .

After only getting brief glimpses into your baby’s development in the womb (thanks to ultrasounds), it’s exciting for new parents to be able to watch their little one grow and change right before their eyes once their little one is born. On the one hand, while looking at your baby when they’re brand new, it […]

The post How To Tell If Your Baby Is Ready To Hold Their Head Up Without Support appeared first on Scary Mommy.

After only getting brief glimpses into your baby’s development in the womb (thanks to ultrasounds), it’s exciting for new parents to be able to watch their little one grow and change right before their eyes once their little one is born. On the one hand, while looking at your baby when they’re brand new, it can be hard to see how they could ever possibly become a fully grown human and not stay a baby forever. But on the other hand, you witness how quickly these little creatures morph into increasingly advanced versions of themselves. You can’t help but marvel at their progress (which you convince yourself is early for their age, thereby concluding that your baby is basically a genius). You also can’t help Googling when the major baby milestones occur, like, “When do babies hold their head up?”

Hey, it’s understandable. One of the earliest significant moments in a baby’s development is when they master holding up their own head. It usually starts with some minor head-lifting during tummy time and then progresses to the point when they’re able to do it on their own, without your (physical) support. So when should you start preparing yourself for your baby to become more physically independent? Here’s what to know about when babies hold their head up, and why — whether they’re early or late to the head-supporting game — they’re (more than likely) just fine.

How can you tell if a baby can hold their head up?

Like everything else involving babies, learning how to hold their head up is a process that takes place in small, incremental steps over the first few months of their life. And as with other aspects of their development, not all babies progress at the same speed. If, at any point, you become concerned that your baby isn’t holding their head up as early as they “should,” you can always check with your pediatrician. They’ll be able to let you know if there’s something to keep an eye on, such as signs of a flat head baby.

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But we know you came here looking for specific milestones involving numbers, so here’s a general guide as to when babies typically start holding their heads up, courtesy of Healthline:

Is it normal for a newborn to hold their head up?

While some newborns come into this world with stronger necks than others, they all need head and neck support — especially for the first few months of their life. But what if your little one holds their head up for a few seconds when they’re only 2 or 3 weeks old? Was your sleep-deprived brain causing you to see things?

Not necessarily. According to Verywell Family, newborns as young as two weeks old can (in some cases) hold their little heads up for very brief periods. If that happens, there’s nothing wrong with your baby. On the other hand, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re incredibly advanced and will fully support their head earlier than other babies. Remember that babies are weird little creatures that can sometimes do the unexpected.

At what age should you start encouraging this behavior?

The first few times you see your baby hold up their head (even just for a few seconds), there’s a good chance that it’ll be during tummy time — which makes sense given the position. So at what age should you start this focused type of activity with your new baby? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), that would be the day that they come home from the hospital. But it’s not a situation where you can set them down and then walk away to throw in a load of laundry: In the beginning, tummy time is brief and interactive.

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Specifically, the AAP recommends that newborns do two or three rounds of tummy time each day, but only for periods of three to five minutes at a time. And while the baby is on their stomach, someone (a caregiver, ideally) should play and interact with them. You can gradually increase the amount of time the baby’s on their tummy once it gets to the point where it appears as though they’re enjoying themselves.

Because newborns are notoriously moody, the AAP suggests doing tummy time right after a diaper change or when the baby wakes up from a nap to eliminate at least some of the things that could make them upset. Ultimately, the goal of tummy time is to prepare your baby for the point when they’re able to slide onto their bellies and crawl around — an activity that involves holding their head up.

The post How To Tell If Your Baby Is Ready To Hold Their Head Up Without Support appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Source: Scary Mommy https://www.scarymommy.com/when-do-babies-hold-their-head-up/

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