Giving baby time on the floor is the best way for them to learn about what their body can do and to practise moving.

If a baby has time on the floor early, there’s more likelihood they will enjoy it as the months go by. Giving baby time on the floor is the best way for them to learn about what their body can do and to practise moving.

When they’re on their tummy on the floor, the firm surface gives them something to push against, and they learn to push up, roll over and eventually crawl and stand.

Ask the whānau:

  • How does baby react when they have time on the floor?
  • Do they prefer being on their back or front?
  • Shall we see how they respond now if we put them on the floor?

Suggest that you put a clean rug or mat down, put them on their tummy and see how they like it.

Floor safety

Often we don’t know what choking dangers or sharp objects might be lurking down there on the floor.

There could be dangerous things that baby can reach or things parents wouldn’t want them touching and mouthing.

  • How about we get down there with them to keep them company, and have a quick safety check while we’re there?

Move any dangerous objects out of reach.

Encourage baby

If they haven’t had a lot of floor time already, they may not like it – especially on their tummy. Parents might need to get down on the floor too and play and talk with them to encourage baby.

  • Does baby have a favourite game that you play together?
  • Which one?
  • What toys does baby have that we could put in front of them to look at?

Have some ideas to share if they don’t offer any:

  • Stand open books up in front of them, with bright coloured pictures to look at and reach for.
  • A mirror can be fun for them to check themselves out in. It does need to be in a position where they can see themselves, without it being a safety hazard.
  • Play tickling games and enjoy singing and rhymes with baby.
  • Use light scarves or bits of soft material to add to the fun. Gently float them over baby’s skin.

A little regular practice helps baby to get stronger and gain more control over their body.

How does this topic relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Tukuna ahau kia mahi, kia mōhio ai ahau me pēhea te ako – let me do things over and over again

Six things children need – Te tūāpapa mō te tika me te hē – limits and boundaries

Helpful resources for whānau