Motor abilities

Motor abilities are built during infancy that help with coordination and physical fitness. Developmental milestones do not occur at the same time for all children, but they all develop and improve their motor skills in a similar order. From crawling to walking, moving to organized games, and so on.

Before birth, a fetus naturally assumes a position that can be described as “fetal tuck” (bent knees and flexed elbows) which serves as the starting point for newborns. Infant milestones occur in the following order:

1. The head is very strong and large compared to the rest of the body; it holds up very well on its own.

2. The neck (consisting of 7 bones) is strong and allows the head to move up and down, side to side, and front to back. A newborn’s movement of the legs and arms is involuntary; they cannot control these movements yet.

3. Babies lack good coordination; their muscles are too weak to move their limbs.

4. The back, shoulders, chest, arms, legs, hands and feet are all sensitive to touch.

5. Their eyes can see objects within 6 inches of their nose; their field of vision is narrow. They cannot yet focus or track objects that are more than a few inches away from them.

7. Newborns’ fine motor skills include sucking and swallowing; they can grasp a finger or toe within the first few days of life. (They cannot yet hold onto objects, however.)

8. Their gross motor skills include: breathing and coughing to clear their lungs of fluid; froggy position.

Leave a Comment