It is the joy of every parent to watch their child hit developmental milestones at the expected time. However, as the baby grows, you will notice some weird behaviors that will leave you confused; among them is when the baby holds arms back when held.
In most cases baby holds arms back when held when they are excited about the environment, strengthening their muscles and improving their shoulder strength.
Most new parents are worried about this behavior, and as you search the internet, you will realize threads about baby airplane arms in many baby forums. This is a situation whereby the baby holds their arms at the back when being held. At this posture, it seems like the baby cannot stretch their arms forward or put them down, which worries many parents.
Reasons Why Baby Holds Arms Back When Held
If your baby is going through this phase, you should not be worried. To help you understand why let us look at the reasons why babies hold their arms at the back.
Excited About the Environment
Some babies will hold their arms at the back because they are excited about something new in their surroundings. From a very young age, babies are curious, and their eyes wander all over to see what is around. Also, they will take the airplane position if they are warming up to a new skill or experience.
Strengthening their Muscles
According to some baby experts, the airplane position helps the baby strengthen thigh muscles in preparation for walking or standing. Therefore, there is no need to worry because it is part of baby growth and development.
Improving Shoulder Strength
With arms held at the back, the baby is strengthening its shoulder muscles to a great extent. They are free to take this position when held because they feel secure.
The baby might have ribs that are curving inwards
Some babies have ribs that are curving inwards. If this is the case with your baby, they will stretch their hands back in an attempt to open up the chest. While it sounds like a complicated issue, it is easily solved through exercise; do not panic.
Take your baby for diagnosis, and your doctor will advise you accordingly. For faster recovery ensure that you follow through with the recommended exercises.
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What To Do When Baby Holds Arms Back When Held
If your baby is in airplane arms all the time, you can help them learn the correct way to keep their arms. Follow the tips below for this exercise:
Place them on a flat surface with their arms bend and help them support themselves on forearms.
This exercise helps to strengthen their arm muscles. This position teaches the baby how to stay balanced, and as a result, they will learn how to control their arms and before you know it, they will no longer be holding their arms at the back.
Place a colourful toy above their head or blow them bubbles.
As they strive to reach the bubbles or the toy, they will be working on the arms muscles. This exercise helps with motor and sensory development. It teaches them about arm coordination because they will be prompted to raise and lower their arms as they reach for the bubbles.
During tummy time, surround baby with their favorite toys within reach.
This motivates them to move their arms around in all directions. The exercise helps them understand that they can move their arms in different directions, not just at the back.
Fold a towel and place it under the body.
This aids with body support and consequently helps the baby put weight on the arms. The weight on the arms teaches them control and helps to develop abdominal and hip muscles.
With the simple exercises above, your baby will be able to control their arms movements before you know it. As stated earlier, it is part of their development, and there is nothing to worry about. However, if your instincts tell you that there is more to the airplane arms, visit an osteopath for diagnosis.
What’s more, if you cannot carry out the recommended exercises successfully, or your baby does not seem to improve, a few sessions with a physiotherapist will help a lot.
Is it Okay for the Baby to Put Arms Back During Tummy Time?
Another common concern among parents is whether it is normal for babies to put their arms back during tummy time. While it might seem similar to the airplane position, this is different. The reasons associated with it are more serious and you should see your pediatrician for a checkup and diagnosis.
The major reasons why babies put their arms back during tummy time include cerebral palsy, torticollis, or tight muscles. To be safe, make sure that you see a doctor if your baby does not seem to take another position during tummy time.
If they are diagnosed with tight muscles, the doctor will recommend a bunch of exercises for their arm muscles. This involves pushing their arms gently at the back and then to the front several times a day.
FAQs on Baby Hold Arms Back When Held
Why Does the Baby Put Arms Back When it’s Tummy Time?
Some babies hold their arms at the back in excitement or to strengthen their muscles. Also, they might be suffering from increased muscle tone as a result of certain types of cerebral palsy. If your baby has not yet been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but their arms are always at the back, consult with your pediatrician as soon as possible.
Why Are My Baby’s Arms Always Back?
As part of growth and development, babies need to grow their spine, neck, arms, and upper back muscles in preparation for motor skills. Putting hands at the back is one way to exercise and grow stronger muscles in the parts above.
Therefore, it should not be a cause of alarm. However, if they don’t seem to outgrow it over time, there might be other underlying issues, and it will be safe to see a doctor.
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