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Enabling environments: For babies

Early Years Practitioner, Sure Start Children’s Centre, Scarborough North Yorkshire

I was working with a baby of three months. Instead of getting a baby chair or a horseshoe cushion to sit her up with, I laid her down on her back with a toy at either side of her. She was quite happy to move her head to see what was going on, moving her arms and legs up. She would bring one foot up and touch it with the same side hand. Another crèche worker went to get a baby chair and baby gym as I laid the baby on the floor. I explained she was fine laying on the floor…


A baby of thirteen months was crawling around and rocking on her hands and knees pushing objects along. As she was crawling around the floor outside the mat area her mum commented, “All these toys to play with and she’s off”. Her mum went to get the baby and would not let her explore. 


The majority of parents commented that they feel their child should be up and walking by a certain age and they will try to help them up. 


… Many babies come into the crèche wearing shoes which restrict their movements.


I always thought that babies needed to be entertained with toys but they are quite happy laying on the floor - moving - and reaching for toys. 

Helpful Adults try to create great conditions for physical development to unfold, and especially we try not to get in the way. It can be tough! There are so many things that take our attention away from the body and movement  Here are some great, simple examples.