How to ensure your baby's neck muscles are strong


Your baby's neck and back muscles need to be strong for him to sit up. Don't keep him strapped into a seat, take some time to let him stretch and strengthen his neck.

Gentle neck lifts

  • Lie your baby flat on his back on a soft surface on the floor.
  • Take both of your baby’s hands and wrists firmly and pull your baby up slowly.
  • Be aware not to pull or jerk your baby’s arms or to do this exercise if your baby’s neck muscles are still unstable. You should only try to do this when your baby has good head control.

Tummy push-ups

  • Lie your baby on his stomach on a soft surface on the floor.
  • This will teach your baby how to play facedown and he will soon be able to lift his head from the floor.
  • To help him you can take his favourite toy or a noisy toy and encourage him to look up at it. This will help to strengthen his neck and back muscles.

Other stuff to try

  • Point out and name objects to encourage him to look up when he is on his tummy.
  • Take him for a walk in a pram – now that he can be propped up in a sitting position for short periods, he will enjoy exploring the environment.
  • Rock your baby and dance around the room with him.
  • Help your child to become aware of his toes by putting them gently near his mouth.
  • Invest in a baby gym which has objects your baby can hit, pull, squeeze and swing.
  • Buy bath toys that will encourage him to lift his neck to look.

Also read: Take the trauma out of tummy time

Also read: My baby doesn't like spending time on her tummy

Also read: Developmental milestones

How do you improve your little one's muscular development? Share your tips and tricks by emailing and we may publish them! Should you wish to remain anonymous, please let us know.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24