We focus some much on getting our infants to sleep safely on their back that we sometimes forget how important it is tummy time really is. Tummy time is as simple as positioning your baby belly down on a safe supervised flat surface allowing them to put weight on their arms and strengthen the muscles in their neck, head and shoulders.
We focus some much on getting our infants to sleep safely on their back that we sometimes forget how important tummy time really is.
Tummy time is as simple as positioning your baby belly down on a safe supervised flat surface allowing them to put weight on their arms and to strengthen the muscles in their neck, head and shoulders. It is also a great way to help prevent flat head syndrome
and treat misshapen heads due to being on their back so much in the first months of life.
Tummy time is excellent for babies physical development and promoting motor skills, it will eventually play a crucial roll in helping your baby to roll, sit, and crawl.
Essentially tummy time should begin from the day your infant is born even when they still have their umbilical cord attached. Practising skin to skin is one of the easiest ways of starting tummy time with a newborn.
Paediatricians recommend babies have tummy time at least 2-3 three times per day for roughly 3-5 minutes. This should naturally build up to longer sessions over time. When your baby is roughly 3-4 months they should have at least twenty minutes tummy time a day working up to 60 minutes as they reach 4-5 months old. It is likely when the baby reaches roughly six months old they will have the strength to roll over by themselves, practising tummy time all on their own.
When practising tummy time the area must be safe
, firm and flat. You should never leave your baby unattended. You can also practise tummy time by laying your baby facedown on your stomach, chest or even across your lap.
You don't really need to faff about with specialised tummy time mats, a regular blanket will do the job just as well. However, over time lying belly down on the floor may become boring. At this point, you should introduce new toys and textures for your baby to play with. Babies mirrors are brilliant in terms of interaction, allowing them to gaze at themselves and interact as they learn to move their face and neck back and forward.
Time is everything when it comes to tummy time. Never place your baby down straight after a meal or when they are tired. Try practising tummy time after a nap or even after a nappy change. If the baby is any way gassy
it will be uncomfortable on their little tummies.
Always comfort and reassure your baby when practising tummy time. Let your baby know you are nearby by singing to them, rubbing their back or even by tickling their hands.
And finally, if your baby does not like tummy time try not to force it. Some babies don't like staying on her belly for an extended time. In this case, introduce the new activity slowly with shorter tummy time sessions. Building it up the minutes as your baby learns to enjoy it.