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Tummy Time

Tummy Time

Posted on  June 23, 2023

When you become a parent for the first time, you are continuously overwhelmed with advice on what to do and what not to do for your child’s growth. Tummy time is one activity that has attracted a lot of attention lately.

What is tummy time?

Placing a baby on their stomach while they are awake and someone is observing them is referred to as “tummy time.” Tummy time is important for your baby’s development. It assists in their development of head lift, crawling, and eventually walking.

What are the benefits of tummy time?

The benefits of supervised tummy time include: 

  • Strengthening the baby’s neck, shoulder, and arm muscles so they can begin to sit up, crawl, and eventually walk on their own; 
  • Enhancing the baby’s ability to move and control their muscles to carry out various actions (a skill sometimes referred to as “motor skills”)
  • Preventing flat spots on the back of the baby’s head.

Tummy time tips

Most babies can begin tummy time exercises within a day or two of birth. Two to three short (3 to 5 minute) tummy time sessions each day are beneficial for babies. You can have longer, more frequent sessions throughout the day as your baby becomes older. Pediatricians advise that babies have 15 to 30 minutes of total daily tummy time by the time they are 2 months old.

The following ideas can help your baby enjoy tummy time:

  • Lay a blanket out on part of the floor that is clear.
  • To support the baby’s arms a little bit, place a towel that has been wrapped up underneath them.
  • Try brief sessions right after diaper changing a baby or napping.
  • Keep a toy within the baby’s reach to encourage interaction with their environment and play.
  • Chat with your baby while lying next to them. You may look through a picture book and talk about what you see.
  • Sing to your baby or stroke their hands or back to let them know they have company.
  • To promote engagement and bonding, have a trusted adult sit in front of the baby.

What Can Tummy Time Help With?

Tummy time is good for:

  • Newborns and babies under 3 months old who are still learning to regulate their necks. The muscles they will need to roll over, sit up, crawl, and walk are developed through tummy time. When your baby is doing tummy time, always make sure to be present.
  • Babies between 4 and 7 months old. Even if they can roll over and sit with some assistance, they should still spend some time under supervision on their tummies. They try elevating their head and chest higher by keeping their arms straight during tummy time. This tones the muscles in the back, chest, and arms.

What if my baby hates tummy time?

Change the activity or location if your baby starts to fuss during tummy time. If your baby prefers not to be on the ground, lie down with them on your chest and engage in gentle hand-and-foot play with them. Rock them gently, sing to them, or give them a back rub.

 

Keep in mind that your baby should ALWAYS be watched during tummy time, and you should ALWAYS be with them. Make sure your baby has enough room to move their arms and legs freely and always set them on a firm, flat surface, such as a play mat.

In conclusion, tummy time is a straightforward but effective activity that supports your baby’s general growth. Tummy time has several advantages, from strengthening muscles and enhancing motor skills to enhancing cognitive and sensory abilities. Make the most of this chance to strengthen your relationship with your child while fostering their development on all fronts.

Does your baby love tummy time? Comment below on how you keep them entertained!

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