Today – Everything You Need to Know About Tummy Time
Soon after your baby is born, you’ll visit the pediatrician. Take a notepad or ask your partner to come with you because they’ll have tons of useful information. You’ll learn your child’s height and weight, as well as how they’ve been growing since birth. You’ll also receive important tips for successful diapering and feeding, as well as instructions on when to return for the next checkup. If you weren’t already nervous, you’ll get a few homework assignments. In addition to logging baby’s milk or formula input and wet diaper output, you’ll be asked to start your little one on tummy time.
Whether you’ve never heard of tummy time or don’t know how to do it, it’s the perfect time to read our helpful guide. We’ll provide you with the most practical pointers for parents, as well as the latest information on the activity from medical professionals. You’ll also discover which practices to avoid and which supplies will make playtime simpler. By the next time you visit the doctor’s office, you’ll be ready to share milestones and stories about baby’s brand new accomplishments!
Here is everything you need to know about tummy time.
What Is Tummy Time?
Tummy time is the act of placing your child on their stomach while you are supervising them. It’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and your pediatrician for a variety of reasons. While your baby should always be put on their back while sleeping or taking naps to reduce the risk of SIDS, playing on their tummy while awake will encourage the development of basic motor skills. It will also help them to build stronger neck and shoulder muscles.
If the advantages weren’t enough already, infants are also more likely to develop flat head syndrome if they lounge on their back. By alternating short, active periods on the stomach with restful play, newborns are able to retain a rounder head shape. Finally, regular tummy time may encourage your little one to begin sitting up, rolling and crawling.
When Do Babies Start Tummy Time?
If you’re not sure when to start tummy time, you’re not alone. Some parents think the activity is for older babies. On the contrary, say medical professionals. You can actually begin as soon as you are home from the hospital. There’s no need to do too much in the beginning—simply start with a few minutes once or twice a day.
Over the next several weeks, increase your time gradually to several minutes at a time for a few times per day. By the time your child reaches three months of age, aim for an hour of tummy time daily. Break it up into three or four sessions of 15 to 20 minutes each. If you have any questions about how your baby is progressing with the activity, talk to your pediatrician.
How Can I Make Tummy Time Easier?
Some babies enjoy tummy time from day one. Others will protest until you lie them on their back again. If your little one doesn’t like being put on their stomach, try enticing them with colorful toys. Place a few of their favorite items in front of them so they can gaze at them or reach with their hands. If you’d like, you can also let baby play under an activity gym. Some babies also like looking at mirrors.
In the beginning, many infants have a difficult time holding their heads up. After all, they’re just not used to it. Keep a watchful eye on your child to make sure they aren’t getting tired or feeling any distress. Luckily, most babies tend to learn this skill quickly. If your little one keeps crying when you do tummy time, try making the play area more comfortable. Line hardwood or cool tile floors with a layer or two of soft padding. Baby girl blankets and baby boy blankets are an excellent choice for keeping babies warm and happy. Grab a couple from your nursery drawer or closet for a quick fix. Quilts and large blankets will also work. Make sure you are watching your infant at all times to reduce any risk of suffocation.
If your baby continues fussing despite your efforts, stop tummy time and save it for later. Avoid the activity when your child is tired, hungry or digesting their breast milk or formula. Every infant gets used to tummy time on their own schedule, so be patient! Encourage your child with love and positive reinforcement each time they complete a tummy session. Soon enough, he or she will be playing on their stomach with ease for longer periods of time. These events are just one of many on the road to independence.
Tummy Time: A Foundation for Healthy Growth
There is so much to learn in the first few months of your baby’s life, especially when you are a new parent! Being a mom or dad is without a doubt the most intense type of on the job training. Some newbies have never even heard of tummy time before—and that’s okay. You will quickly learn how essential it is to your baby’s development. Since you know your child best, you will also discover how to make it easier and more fun for them. Incorporate a few of the strategies and supplies above for an even more enjoyable experience.
Now that you know the importance of tummy time, how to make sessions more fun and the most common challenges along the way, you’re ready to help your child soar through the first stages of their development. You’re also setting the tone for a lifetime of healthy growth and active play! Once your baby gets comfortable spending time on their stomach, they’ll begin to roll over. After that, they’ll become more comfortable with sitting upright and may even explore the first phases of crawling.
Here is everything you need to know about tummy time.