What is tummy time? and how do I do it? Here we delve into the benefits of ‘Tummy Time’ and why it’s important.
How can I encourage my baby to move during tummy time?
At first, your baby won’t be able to move much. But you can still encourage them to start wiggling their arms and legs and move their head. While your baby is lying on their tummy, get down to their level so that they know you are nearby. Keep talking, making funny noises, or singing to them whilst they lie on their stomach. This will encourage them to start trying to move their head to see you. Your baby may also try to move their arms and legs in delight at the funny sounds your are making!
When your baby is around three months old, they may start trying to push up on their arms.To encourage them, dangle a favourite toy above them. This will motivate your baby to look upwards, use their arms to raise themselves up towards the toy.
What if my baby doesn’t like being on their tummy?
Many babies won’t like being put onto their tummy at first. It will be a strange experience for your baby and it may upset them. However, it is best to persevere and encourage your baby to have tummy time every day. Start small with short sessions to begin with. Place Your baby onto their tummy for just a minute and then return them to their back and try this a couple of times a day. Pick times when your baby is content and alert. If you lay your baby on the floor, try to get down to their level.
Talk or sing to to your baby so that they know you are still nearby. This will help to reassure them. If your baby doesn’t like being laid on the floor, start by giving them tummy time in your arms. Lie back in a chair and rest your baby on your chest. This way they will become used to lying on their tummy. Whilst in this position, you can also try holding your baby so their are looking over your shoulder. Try To make tummy time a part of your baby’s routine.
If you place your baby on their tummy after every nappy change, or every nap, it will be easier to adapt.Why does your baby need tummy time?Babies need to be active from birth. Tummy time is a great way to encourage your baby to get moving and start building muscle strength. Babies who don’t get much tummy time may be slower to develop than babies who do. This means that it may take a little longer for them to reach major milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, or crawling. By giving your baby a chance to develop their muscles, you will be helping to stimulate your baby’s development.
What are the benefits of tummy time?
Lying on their front helps your baby to strengthen their back and shoulders, as well as giving them a chance to move their arms and legs in a different way. This will develop their gross motor skills and help them to roll over. As your baby gets older, they will start trying to push up from the tummy position and straighten their arms. This is the precursor to crawling and it will strengthen the muscles they need to get moving. Tummy time will also strengthen your baby’s neck, which will lead to greater head control. This also means that your baby will be able to look up and around them. Being able to see things around themselves will help develop your baby’s coordination and their ability to follow things with their eyes. If your baby spends a lot of time lying on their back, their head can become slightly flatter on side. Tummy time can help to prevent this by relieving the pressure on the back of your baby’s head. Giving your baby time to play on their tummy will also give them a different view on the world.
When is the best time to start?
Your baby can start having a small amount of tummy time soon after their birth. Wait until your baby is happy, awake, alert and then place them on their tummy. This can be on a blanket, on the floor, on your lap, or in your arms. At first, your baby will be quite curled up and he’ll put a lot of weight on their upper body and face. While your baby is still small,make sure there aren’t any draughts around and pets are kept out of the room as a dog or cat can seem scary to a small baby lying on the floor. Start by giving your baby just a couple of minutes of tummy time. Do this two or three times a day and gradually build it up over time. Always supervise tummy time and never put your baby onto their tummy whilst they are asleep, this can increase your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome. As your baby becomes stronger and more alert, they will start trying to move their head.By the end of the third month, your baby should be able to hold up their head and push up