Day by day _ 8-12 Months




Playing with hands


Stimulation Activities

Before you begin

  • Loosen the baby’s diaper for comfort.
  • Dress the baby in comfortable clothing for freedom of movement.
  • Position the baby according to basic principles.
Twisting the body

Twisting the body

  • Place the baby securely between your knees, pressing gently on his hips with your legs. This prevents the baby from falling backward or sideways. Once the baby’s muscles are stronger, you can just sit down beside him.
  • If your baby tends to throw himself backward, hold his tummy and press gently toward the floor, giving him the support he needs.
  • Watch the baby’s legs during this exercise. For the exercise to be effective, they should hardly be moving, if at all.
From sitting to crawling position

From sitting to crawling position

How to encourage crawling

How to encourage crawling

  • Make use of a toy or a second person to attract the baby’s attention and entice him to move.
  • Put gentle pressure on the back of the baby’s legs and make sure the knees are well aligned with the hips.
  • As the baby gets better, gradually offer less help and let him explore on his own.
Crawling over an obstacle course

Crawling over an obstacle course

  • Use sofa cushions, pillows, and toys to create an obstacle course.
  • If need be, keep the baby’s legs and ankles steady as she crawls.
  • Going over obstacles such as pillows is a great way to improve balance.
Pulling up to a stand: hanging onto furniture

Pulling up to a stand: hanging onto furniture

  • Encourage the baby to alternate supporting legs when standing up, such that both get the same level of exercise and grow symmetrically.
  • To help the baby stand:
    • With one hand on the baby’s hip, help him put weight on one knee.
    • For the other leg, place the baby’s foot directly under his knee, such that the leg is at a 90⁰ angle. This gives him support to stand.
    • Hold the knee steady as he transfers weight onto his leg.
    • If need be, support the baby with one hand on the tummy and the other under the bum.
Standing with feet flat on the floor

Standing with feet flat on the floor

  • Some babies born preterm have a tendency to stand on tiptoe. To facilitate walking, you should encourage the baby to bear weight on the entire foot.
  • When the baby is standing, place one hand on her tummy and the other under her bum.
  • Then push gently down toward the floor so that the baby stands flat.
  • To discourage tiptoe standing, place all toys well within the child’s reach, at chest level.
Holding onto furniture and cruising

Holding onto furniture and cruising

  • To get the baby to walk sideways, or cruise, encourage her to hold onto a sofa, coffee table, or bed for support.
  • Place toys at the other end of the sofa, coffee table, or bed.
  • Support the baby with one hand on her tummy, the other on her bottom.
  • Lean her first to one side, then the other, a bit like a pendulum.
  • She will naturally transfer her weight to the leg closest to the desired toy, and then bring the other leg in. Eventually, she’ll be cruising.
Exploring the world, one sofa at a time

Cruising – Exploring the world, one sofa at a time

  • Use toys to entice your baby to move from one piece of furniture to the next.
  • Place two pieces of furniture, such as a sofa and a chair, at right angles so that the baby practices turning to the side.
  • Once the baby is comfortable with quarter-turns, place the furniture parallel, so that the baby can practice turning around (half-turns).
  • Leave the right amount of space so that the baby can reach over and hold on if need be.
  • If the baby needs help, place one hand on the tummy and the other on the bottom for support.
  • Spot the baby to avoid falls.


Each child develops at his own pace, according to his own interests, energy level, and temperament. You can create a safe and inviting environment for your child. Your involvement will stimulate the child’s physical and mental growth toward fulfillment of maximum potential.

fine motor development

Fine motor skills develop in stages. As your child grows, she will want to take part in activities that are increasingly complex. She will handle things with greater and greater precision. Watching your child play will provide a glimpse into fine motor development.


At 8-12 months, babies are better able to manipulate objects. They can adjust the opening of their fingers to grasp an object of whatever size they choose. They can hold onto a toy without dropping it and can even hold one in each hand. Although they still enjoy banging one object against the other, they discover the joys of throwing or dropping them down for you to pick up.

Babies this age have fun putting things into containers and taking them out again. At around 12 months, they start building block towers. You can assist in all these endeavours.

As hand motion continues developing, babies start picking up very small objects, first by “raking” with four fingers, then by using only thumb and forefinger. They can do this while keeping their balance. They do not need to lean on an arm, whether on the ground or at the table. They can also wander off, holding several objects at the same time.

Crayons become interesting. Babies discover that they can hold them in their palm (palmar grasp, using all fingers), and if you show them how, something miraculous will happen on the paper.




Learning through play

Proper positioning

Children play anywhere and everywhere – on the floor, at the table, at the playground. The child’s position for playing will change depending on the activity and the level of difficulty thereof.

For example, to play ball, you stand and run. To put coins into a piggy bank, a toddler has to make precise movements with his hands, and to do so, he has to remain steady. The more concentration the activity demands, the less he wants to worry about keeping his balance and the more he’ll adopt a quiet, resting position.

Watch your child at play and see which position bests suits any given activity.

On the floor

Sitting on a stool to avoid W-sitting

Children naturally adopt a comfortable position when playing on the floor. Some prefer sitting with knees and ankles splayed out under them. This is known as W-sitting.

This position is not a good one ergonomically, because the child relies on the ligaments of his knees for support, with little opportunity for trunk rotation.

To avoid W-sitting, have the child sit on a stool or a low bench. This position allows for proper alignment of the hips and knees and strengthens the trunk muscles. 


Keeping a straight back

If the child is not seated properly, his weight rests on his lower back, with resulting bad posture and slouching. Babies sometimes adopt this position when their trunk muscles are too weak.  Help support your child’s lower back.

Lifting up when on tummy

When your child plays, she may enjoy lying on her stomach, supporting her head on one hand or with head resting on the floor. This position requires little effort.

To assist in muscle development, place a bath towel under the child’s armpits. The upper body will then be raised but supported. Elbows should be on the floor as the child plays.

At the table

Make sure the child is sitting with feet flat on the floor or resting on a footstool. The table surface should be at elbow level.


Observe your child when standing. Is she on tiptoe? Does she grab a toy and sit down? Does she lean on her elbows when standing against a low table?

The table or furniture surface should be no higher than the elbows for the child to stand feet flat on the floor and play with toys on it.

Standing with feet flat on the floor

Changing position

If you notice the child tiring, try for a change in position. This will facilitate the development of fine and gross motor skills, as the core muscles are involved in posture while the child continues to use her hands in play. Remember that proper positioning and play are a recipe for success.

Guiding your child

At this age, your baby or toddler still needs your help in fine and gross motor skills. You can guide playtime and assist in any given activity.

You can guide the baby’s hand to touch the right buttons. Or direct the baby’s arm toward a desired object: place yourself behind the baby and press gently on his arm until his hand reaches.

As soon as you feel that the child has understood what’s required, stop helping. Assist again when needed.

Positioning of the arms during play


If you feel that your child’s motor skills are still lacking, despite whatever strategies you may have tried, do not hesitate to contact a health care professional. They are there to help you.

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