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Answered 2007-07-04 01:32:56

Your baby's neck muscles are fairly weak at birth, so she'll rely on you to support her head and neck for at least the first month or so. Perhaps it's nature's way of ensuring you lots of face-to-face interaction. As you cradle her in your arms, enjoy the chance to gaze into her eyes -- it'll help you bond and make her feel loved.

One to two months
By the end of her first month, she should be able to lift her head briefly and turn it from side to side when lying on her stomach. At around six to eight weeks, if she's especially strong, she'll raise her head while lying on her back. When you carry her on your shoulder, she'll have enough control to hold her head up shakily, but not for long. She'll also be strong enough to hold up her head in a car seat, infant carrier, or babysling, but she's still too wobbly for an off the road buggy or a backpack. Wait to use these until she can hold her head up steadily without any support from you. Right now, you can probably put her in her bouncy seat and she will watch the world go by.

Three to four months
You'll notice a definite improvement in head control by this time. She's able to raise her head 45 degrees while lying on her stomach and keep it up steadily. For a fun game that also develops her neck muscles, place your baby on her back and slowly pull her up by her hands to a sitting position. Slowly ease her back down, and repeat. At this age she should be able to hold her head in line with the rest of her body as it's pulled up. Your child may be ready for an off-the-road buggy at four months, but stick to the pavement for now.

Five to six months
By six months, she'll be able to hold her head steady and erect, and she'll flex it forward when she's pulled into a sitting position.

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