Using the sense of touch is a great way to bond with your baby and help his development. First, there was baby massage or touch therapy, which has been proven to help in the development of babies’ muscles and bones. Then came yoga for babies, which claims to help strengthen the bond between parent and child, as well as develop the infant’s motor skills.
And now, there’s Pilates for babies.
Nathanael Buckley from Sydney, Australia developed Playlates, an app that helps parents do baby Pilates exercises with baby, made especially for those who might not have the time nor resources to enroll their baby in developmental classes. He first developed a baby-friendly version of the Pilates exercises for his young daughter Phoebe, which they both enjoyed doing together, so he decided to share their newfound bonding experience through Playlates.
Starting at two months until his first year, the app helps you assist your baby in stretching, practice sitting and rolling over, and eventually develop the motor skills for crawling and standing all the way until he’s ready to take his first big steps. With Playlates, you can have fun doing it at your own time and in the comforts of your own home.
One of the activities featured in Playlates is fun games you can do while doing tummy time, which involves positioning your baby on his stomach, helping him prepare for crawling. In an article on Smartparenting.com.ph, An-Marie Bartolome-Villarin, managing director of the Terrific Tots Preschool Program at The Little Gym in Taguig City, and mother to Santi, recommends 10 to 20 minutes of tummy time. However, “At that age, they don’t like tummy time so much, so short periods of time are good.” With as little as two to three minutes a day, your baby can slowly adjust and familiarize himself with being on his belly.
The same thing applies with Pilates for baby -- don’t worry if your child isn’t interested or isn’t able to do the exercises. It’s primarily a fun bonding activity for parent and baby.
Still, as with any baby exercise, parents should practice caution. It’s still best to consult a pediatrician first to answer any question or concern you might have. Remember, we parents are the best judge of our baby’s comfort and safety.
The Playlates app is currently available on iOS for iPad and iPhone for free.