Your Baby’s Muscular and Skeletal Systems
Your baby’s more than 200 bones and 600 muscles serve to support her, to protect her vital organs, and to allow her to move. When she is born, her bones are very flexible, with growing plates and cartilage. This cartilage is what actually expands and then hardens, or ossifies, into strong bone, allowing her to become taller and bigger.
Her bone growth will not be complete until she is about 20 years old. In addition to providing a frame for her skin, your baby’s bones store minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and vitamin D, in case her body experiences a shortage.
Ligaments and tendons hold your baby’s bones and joints together, and she uses her muscles to move. Through her cerebral motor cortex and cerebellum in her brain, she consciously commands her legs and arms.
Her cardiac muscles, which are inside her heart, move involuntarily. Finally, her smooth muscles work involuntarily to move food through her stomach and intestines.
Your baby’s skull, rib cage, and vertebrae wrap around and protect her internal organs, and her strong muscles protect her bones. Sea vegetables supply minerals and calcium to help build strong bones, while acidic foods such as sugar and tomatoes can leech calcium from her bones. Regular exercise can help your baby’s bones and muscles grow strong and healthy.
Muscular and skeletal issues for babies up to three years old are rare. Therefore, there are no common childhood illnesses to list under this system.