Introducing Tummy Time
Tummy Time to your baby is vital for their development. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending that babies be put “back to sleep” more and more babies are spending a lot of time on their backs. When your baby is sleeping in their crib, in their car seat, in their swings, and other baby equipment, more and more infants are developing flat spots on their heads known as positional plagiocephaly. This makes tummy time more important than ever in addition to the many other benefits that tummy time offers.
When babies are placed on their tummy, they’re also seeing their world from a whole new perspective! When a baby is on their tummy, they are strengthening their heads, neck, and upper body muscles. The strength coordination that they are working on and developing will help promote motor skills while helping them with the exciting milestones coming up such as rolling over, reaching for toys, and eventually crawling.
When Should You Start
You can start while your baby is a newborn; however, like everything else we must ensure safety first. Simply place your baby flat on their tummy on a playmat or blanket and make sure that you’re able to sit with them and supervise. Never walk away from your baby while practicing tummy time. You might begin with 2-3 minutes a few times a day. Over time, you will increase the amount of time that your baby spends on their tummy per day.
The best time to practice tummy time is when your baby has digested their last meal, has a clean diaper, and is happy. Just like everything else, some babies love tummy time and others not so much. I always encourage parents to take advantage of this wakeful window and get down on the floor and engage with your little one. You can read a book to them, sing, and have them look at their reflection in a mirror. I also like setting up different toys on both sides of your baby so they are more likely to turn their heads both ways. You can also encourage this by switching where you sit as well so they don’t favor one side.
Some of our favorite Tummy Time accessories!
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If you have any questions regarding tummy time, feel free to discuss this with your baby’s pediatrician. Happy Tummy Time!!
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