Tummy time is when you place your baby on his/her stomach to play. This tummy time helps the baby to develop the necessary muscles required to lift their heads, and over a period of time, sit up, and walk. It is imperative that your baby remains awake during this time and you must be carefully watching him/her.
Different infants have different reactions to being placed on their tummies on the floor. Most babies do not like this time because the position is very awkward for them. Some may also like it. Whatever the case may be, your baby will do a gesture to let you know their feelings. Generally, you should encourage your baby to do at least 5 minutes of tummy time 3 times a day.
Here are some tips that you can use to make tummy time fun for your baby!
#1 Start Early
When it comes to tummy time, there is nothing as starting too early. You can start as early as day one by putting your baby on your chest. You can relax against some pillows and keep your baby snuggled up on your chest. In the first few weeks, this counts as tummy time. When the baby is looking at your face, it helps you to bond and connect with each other.
During this time, make sure that your upper body is at an angle of 45 degrees. In this position, you can study your child’s features and admire his/her beauty. In short, you get to know your baby well from the start and this tummy time helps your baby to build stronger muscles.
#2 Roll Baby In And Out Often
Tummy time does not mean that you simply leave your baby on the floor and let him/her be. You have to be very active when it comes to tummy time. Don’t let your baby remain face-to-face with the floor for a long time. Instead, plan short sessions multiple times per day. Ideally, tummy time should not be longer than 15 minutes for the first few months. Later, as your baby grows, you can increase this time as per the need.
Also, roll your baby in and out often so that the muscles become stronger for the baby to gain motoring skills to crawl and walk fast.
#3 Be Creative, Keep It Interesting
Babies love new things. They get bored as easily as adults. That’s why you must be innovative after every week and not just follow the same routine during the tummy time. You can try many things to make tummy time exciting for your baby as well.
For instance, you can try placing your baby on your exercise ball with tummy down by keeping a hand on him/her so that he/she does not slip. Now, gently roll the ball backward, forward, or maybe side to side.
You can also make a baby airplane by lying on your back, holding your knees up to your chest, and facing your baby towards you by keeping him/her on your shin. Secure the baby properly by holding the chest. It is important to note that this activity requires your baby to have good head control.
Also, switching things make the activity more fun for them. This way, even if they were not liking the previous routine, the change will let them enjoy it more.
#4 Be Responsive
Tummy time is for your baby’s muscles to get stronger. But, that does not mean that you will continue it even if your baby gets uncomfortable. If you find your baby crying during tummy time, you need to give your baby a break because it might have gotten unpleasant. Focus on each and every movement of your baby so that you know what your baby is feeling exactly at every step.
That’s why it is recommended to divide the tummy time into multiple sessions so that your baby does not face any discomfort.
#5 Use Support When Needed
During the first few months, you have to be extremely careful about your baby’s movements during the tummy time. Use all the support your baby might need to get through the tummy time without experiencing any discomfort.
You can use a Boppy Pillow by putting it under your baby’s chest to provide support. If you don’t have a pillow, you can roll a blanket and put it under the chest to lift the baby up a little bit. Don’t be negligent with your baby and offer all the support he/she might need to get through the tummy time properly.
Tummy time is essential for your baby as it develops him/her for the coming developmental stages. Keep an eye on your baby the whole time and keep thinking of things that can make the process enjoyable and fun for them.