One month ago a new program of exercises for 2-month-old babies was introduced to help American parents build a fit generation of children right from the cradle. René Pouteau (below), now 3 months old, and his mother Julia (bottom right) have already finished the first set of exercises (SI, May 2). Here they begin the second step with five more, each one designed specifically for the 3-month-old baby. These exercises, like the earlier ones, follow the growing baby's natural movements and help to strengthen every part of the baby's body. With daily repetition, preferably with music to add rhythm, the baby's progress becomes more and more evident.
Foot rotation develops strong, supple feet and ankles. Gently-L place the soles of baby's feet together. Baby instinctively turns feet outward. Help him to turn them a little further. Repeat five times slowly.
Overhead stretch aids shoulder strength and flexibility. Place baby's hands at sides, then gently stretch arms overhead. Do five, repeat later.
Bicycle exercise also develops strength through baby's instinctive muscular resistance. Gently stretch one leg quite straight, slowly bend the other knee high. Alternate legs. Do three sets of eight at intervals.
The swallow was an exercise for 2-month-old. At 3 months raise baby's legs a little higher, hold for count of five, then lower. Do four times.
Leg crossover is an important aid to hip and back flexibility. Grasp lower part of baby's left leg and gently cross over right leg until the left foot is flat on the floor. Alternate legs. Repeat eight times.
Sit-up is for mother. With feet thrust under a support, knees bent and hands behind neck, do 10 slow roll-ups. Repeat 10 every morning and night.