The NHS recommends the following:
Babies (under 1 year)
Babies should be encouraged to be active throughout the day, every day in a variety of ways, including crawling, reaching, grasping, moving their head, moving their limbs and supervised play in the floor. This should include 30 minutes of tummy time spread thoughout the day whilst awake.
If they're not yet crawling, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play.
Try to include at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day when they're awake.
Toddlers (aged 1 to 2)
Toddlers should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (3 hours). The more the better. This should be spread throughout the day, including playing outdoors if possible. This exercise could be light activities such as moving around, playing energetically to also active play such as chasing a ball, climbing etc.
Pre-schoolers (aged 3 to 4)
Pre-schoolers should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) a day doing a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, including active and outdoor play again where possible. The more the better. Of this at least 60 minutes should be of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activities.
All children under 5 should not be inactive for long periods, except when sleeping. So limit the time of watching tv, ipad time. (or in as named in our household Apple ipad).
So I bet you thought my child is skinny it doesn’t matter if he/she doesn’t exercise – you would be wrong. Actually if a child is underweight this often means that their lean muscle mass is reduced and exercise will build this and improve their appetite too. (Tricky possibly with a fussy eater but that’s another topic).
By Natalie McNeece (osteopath)