Baby development – mums share their tips

Rolling over, sitting up…mums give their best baby development advice


Encouraging your baby to roll over

“I used a play mat with lots of stimulating toys to encourage Bronwyn to roll over – she’s always been interested in things around her. As she wanted to play with the toys she made the effort to roll over to get them.”


Caroline Bailey, 33, from Lincolnshire, mum to Bronwyn, 16 months, and Leighton, 10 weeks

For tumbling tots

“When James was learning to walk, he seemed to stumble and fall over more than his friends. He didn’t seem phased but it worried me. My GP thought he was fine, so I just gave him as much practice as possible. I always made sure he had enough space in the lounge to toddle in, and went out in the garden as much as possible. The more he did it, the better he got, and now he walks really well.”

Helen Morgan,41, from Cardiff, mum to James,4, and 24 weeks pregnant

Teaching your child to sit up

“I reused my breastfeeding pillow as a support to help Jessica learn how to sit up. If she falls back or to the side it’s OK because it’s soft and when she does fall she tries to pull herself back up again, so it’s the perfect way for her to learn.”

Amy Jenkins, 33, from Surrey, mum to Josh, 4, and Jessica, 5 months

From shuffling to walking

“I tried to encourage Jay to crawl by lifting him onto his front, but he continued to shuffle until he was 18 months old. In the end he went from shuffling straight to walking. So don’t worry if your baby isn’t crawling yet, it didn’t hold Jay back.”

Lisa Barnes, 30, from Surrey, mum to Jay, 2

When moving your baby to her own room

“When we wanted Archie to start sleeping in his own room, we took it really slowly, putting him down for daytime naps in the nursery, and having an hour a day of playtime in his new room. We also made sure his favourite toys were in there before bed so if he did wake in the night he would have something comforting to look at.”

Emma Jones, 29, from Hayes, mum to Archie, 1

“Before I fully moved my baby into the nursery, I put her in her new cot for daytime naps so she could become familiar with it. After a week of daytime sleep in her new room, she moved in there permanently and was perfectly happy.”

Helen Ostler, 36, from East Sussex, mum to Alice, 3, and Sam, 1

For encouraging first words

“We used a very simple picture book to help Cameron talk. We concentrated on one book to start with and didn’t move onto the next one until he was comfortable with the first. He loved the repetition and got really excited when he knew what picture was coming next.”

Josie James, 33, from East Sussex, mum to Cameron, 2

For safe sitting

“When Millie was learning to sit I put plenty of cushions all around her (in front, too) so she wouldn’t hurt herself. Once she could sit on her own for a few moments, she enjoyed sitting between my legs on the floor as she could grab them to steady herself.”

Chloe Green, 25, from Cardiff, mum to Millie, 1

For soothing teething

“When my two were teething, I sliced up bits of cucumber and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. When the pain hit they could suck on the strips. I cut them quite long, so they’d reach the painful back teeth. While they had the strips we held the ends so they didn’t choke.”

Kez Jones, 32, from Berkshire, mum to Mackenzie, 6, and Savannah, 13 months

For encouraging sitting up

“Ashley didn’t start getting upright until about 8 months, and I was starting to get worried as she didn’t seem interested in it. We found propping her up with pillows against a wall while she played helped, and she didn’t really notice the pillows as she was distracted by her toys. After a few weeks of us helping her, she gradually sat upright by herself.”

Laura White, 29, from Surrey, mum to Ashley, 11 months

Learning to move around

“Jacob didn’t start moving around until he was 11 months, which was later than my friends’ babies. To help him, we gave him lots of time on his tummy to build up his upper-body strength, and put pull-along toys just out of his reach and rolled them forwards and backwards. This really got him interested and he was soon stretching out towards them and eventually crawled off with no more problems.”


Simone Brown, 35, from Cardiff, mum to Jacob, 18 months

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