Babies are incredible little beings, and their demeanour never ceases to amaze us.
Also, their physical flexibility is truly remarkable.
Whilst, for adults practising downward-facing dog in yoga class – could be a little challenging, our 1-year-old can do it over and over again effortlessly!
But, why would they do that?
Is this just another fun activity, or is there something more hiding behind headstands?
Read on to find out 7 reasons your baby is bending over and looking through their legs.
Babies do headstands because they can explore their surroundings from a completely new perspective. During the headstand, they experience new sensations such as being dizzy and learn about their head and body position in relation to the surroundings. Also, some babies find this position comforting, since the last months of pregnancy they spend head-down waiting for delivery. Other babies simply observe, mirror and repeat what their peers (who perform headstands) do. And last, a legend says that when a baby bends forward, they look for their siblings. Meaning they predict their mom’s pregnancy.
1. Exploring the World From a New Perspective
Exploring the world is one of the most exciting activities for our little munchkins.
There is so much they can do already; getting into the places, reaching out and grabbing things, banging pots and pans with a spoon, putting things in and out of the box…
And that’s because babies are curious, creative and inventive.
What drives their curiosity, though?
Well, it is a desire to learn!
And the best way to learn about the surroundings is to let your baby explore them from different perspectives, such as – the view from between their legs!
Looking at the world from this point of view is incredibly stimulating to their brain.
Shaping how the baby thinks, reasons and understands.
And looking at the world from various positions is just a perfect opportunity to enhance this development.
Because the object looks completely different when they stare at it from an upside-down view!
It’s so much more fun!
2. It Gives Them Sensory Stimulation
The sensation your little one may experience in that position is also something new and utterly compelling.
You surely must know that feeling when you bend over or stand up from bed too quickly?
Feeling dizzy and like the room is spinning for a few moments?
Sounds familiar, right?
That’s exactly what your little one experiences when practising headstands!
And that’s because in this pose their vestibular system gets really stimulated.
The vestibular system is essential to keep the balance, and it relays incoming sensory information from different sensory organs and processes them in the brain.
It is through this system that the brain receives information about the position of the body and head in space.
When processed, this information helps your baby keep their balance and move smoothly.
So, a headstand is not only great fun for your little one, but it plays a vital role in their healthy neurological development.
2-Minute Neuroscience: Vestibular System
3. Exciting Physical Activity
Babies love being active, discovering new exercises, stretches, and what they can do with their tiny bodies.
No wonder why.
After spending 9 months all curled up in their mother’s womb, it’s high time to get these muscles going, moving and working!
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Did you know that the forward fold your little one is so keen on is a great way to engage large muscles in their bodies, which helps develop gross motor skills?
These are so important in building overall strength and confidence in your baby’s body, as well as helping them perform everyday functions such as walking, running, climbing, and maintaining balance and coordination.
Furthermore, well-developed gross motor skills lay the groundwork for attaining fine motor skills, such as pinching, grasping, holding a pen, etc.
So, if anything – encourage any physical activity your baby is keen to explore!
4. It’s A New Thing To Do!
Linking to the point above – your child has just discovered how much fun it is to do handstands and look at the world from an upside-down perspective.
The point is – it’s something new and exciting!
And babies crave new activities and sensory experiences!
But, hey – we all like new shiny things, don’t we?
In fact – our brains are hard-wired to seek novelty, which allows us to expand our minds and learn.
In this way, your baby is fascinated and inspired by all the new activities and sensations they experience, as well as learning about the world around them.
The new experiences also stimulate their brain, by creating new neural connections and strengthening existing ones.
All this goodness is happening just by practising headstands!
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5. They Find this Position Comforting
Yeah, being head-down might actually comfort your little one.
After all, they spend 9 months floating in their mother’s stomach.
And by week 30, most babies already flip their heads down and bottom up to prepare for the birth.
So, who knows, but perhaps by doing headstands, your little one remembers the comforting feeling of good old times when they were inside their mommy’s uterus?!
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6. They Imitate Their Peers!
Imitating other babies is yet another sign of healthy social and cognitive development.
And frankly speaking, the ability to mirror, repeat and practise the actions of others is quite a significant milestone!
Babies tend to emulate the behaviour of those that they admire and want to be more alike.
And this person often is their older sibling or their peer that hit the milestone earlier.
Your baby may do a handstand because they saw other babies doing it. Since it looks fun, they are eager to try this out themselves!
7. Old Wives Tale
And finally, there is an old wives’ tale that I don’t really believe because it lacks scientific validation, but many women swear by it.
So, the story goes that if your baby does headstands, it’s because they are looking for siblings. According to other people, it means that the baby’s mother is pregnant again!
I hope you didn’t freak out about being pregnant so soon. The story implies, however, that your little one has supernatural powers of prediction.
I will leave it up to you whether or not you believe it! 😉
Final Few Lines
When your baby does a headstand, it is a clear sign they are going through tremendous physical and mental development. So this is a good thing that should be encouraged.
- They learn about their surrounding from upside down perspective
- They are enhancing their gross motor skills
- They are stimulating their vestibular system, and sense of balance
- They enjoy the novelty of the new physical activity
- They find this position comforting
- They are learning to mirror what others do
- They predict the pregnancy of their mom.