Safe Active Play With Your Baby

We've all seen the occasional parent toss their baby into the air. Most babies do seem to enjoy being tossed around.

Mother bouncing baby

It usually garners a baby smile at the very least, and hysterical laughter at best, which is likely why parents insist on practicing baby tossing. That said, there are much safer ways to keep your baby happy. You can play actively with your baby, but you also want to keep her safe.

Follow these rules below:

Don't toss or throw your baby

Unless your baby is literally a sack o' potatoes, don't toss him about. Falling even a few inches can seriously hurt your baby. Instead of throwing your baby up in the air, try lifting him high and smoothly, without taking your hands off him.

Bounce gently and carefully

Most babies adore bouncing on your knee. However, your baby's body is still developing and his head and neck are vulnerable to overshaking. If your baby's head does shake back and forth too harshly, it can result in injury or death. It takes very little pressure to overshake a baby. Gently bounce your baby on your knee while keeping your palm placed gently on his neck and head.

Prop your baby up when she's ready

It's fine to prop your baby up, but be sure she's ready. Most babies can sit with help, such as a Boppy pillow, by 3 or 4 months of age. Propping your little one up allows for more fun at this age, because your baby will be able to actively grab for toys or play with objects you hand her. Learn more about propping your baby up. Above all, when playing with your baby, watch her mood. If your baby isn't interested in playing, her body may stiffen up and she could be more easily hurt.

More on health

Your baby's first year in checkups, explained
Outdoor play helps encourage healthy eyesight
The top five infant ailments

Tags: baby activities

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