Physical Activity Guidelines for Your Baby and Toddler

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Recommend for: Gross Motor, Baby, Toddler, Preschooler,

Categories: Baby Play

Summary: The Department of Health has released a series of physical activity guidelines for babies and toddlers, showing the importance of the relationship between how much they sleep, sit and exercise.

How much physical exercise is good for your baby? Is sedentary behaviour an issue you should be paying attention to early on in your child’s development?

The Department of Health has released a series of physical activity guidelines for babies and toddlers, showing the importance of the relationship between how much they sleep, sit and exercise.

Sedentary behaviour is a real issue nowadays, especially with the rise of the digital era. Children tend to spend time using digital devices early on at the expense of physical exercise.

The amount of time recommended for a child to spend doing physical activity depends on their developmental stage. There’s no one-size-fits-all criteria, however, there are some guidelines you should consider.

Let’s take a look at the Department of Health’s physical activity guidelines and recommendations.

How much physical activity is recommended for your child?

Infants (0-1 year)
Babies can handle some supervised physical activity like interactive floor-based play as long as it’s in a safe environment. For newborns who aren’t yet mobile, 30 minutes of tummy time should help their muscular system develop. You can try activities like reaching and grasping, pushing and pulling and crawling throughout the day during their awake periods.


Toddlers (1 to 2 years)
Toddlers can spend at least three hours a day doing various physical activities. Energetic play is great for toddlers including running, jumping and twirling.

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)
When it comes to preschoolers, they can spend at least three hours a day doing a variety of active play exercises. Devote one of those three hours to energetic play such as running, jumping and kicking and throwing.

Tip: It’s best to spread out your child’s physical activity throughout the day in order to avoid fatigue.

MORE PARENTING TIPS

How much sedentary behaviour is good for your child?

Infants (0-1 year)
Newborns tend to spend a lot of time inactive in a stroller or the car seat. It’s recommended not to keep a child sedentary for more than an hour at a time. Avoid encouraging your baby to spend any time watching TV or using other types of digital devices. 


Toddlers (1-2 years)
Avoid keeping your toddler sedentary more than an hour at a time or sitting for extended periods of time during a day. Screen time isn’t recommended for toddlers younger than two years. A 2-year-old’s screen time is best to be limited to a total of an hour a day.

Preschoolers (3-5 years)
A preschooler’s sedentary time, whether that includes sitting in a stroller or screen time, is recommended to be limited to a total of an hour a day.

Tip: Does your child have the tendency to choose screen time over play time? Engage with them in creative play activities such as reading, singing, puzzles and storytelling. You’ll both have some fun!

Recommended sleep time for babies and toddlers

Infants (0-1 year)

 Infants aged 0-3 months are recommended to have 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day. Babies aged 4-11 months should sleep for 12 to 16 hours per day.


Toddlers (1-2 years)

 Toddlers can have from 11 to 14 hours of good quality sleep, during a day with consistent sleep and wake-up times.

● Preschoolers (3-5 years)

Preschoolers are recommended to have 10 to 13 hours of sleep during a day with consistent sleep and wake-up times.

Tip: The recommended sleep time includes the naps your child has during the day.

Keep your child active

When you’re running low on fun ideas for your baby’s play activities, come and get some inspiration from our dedicated play activity page. There you can find lots of fun and educational activities for a variety of developmental stages.

 


Chloe

Great article for me to keep track of development stages for my bub!

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