Let’s talk tummy time—a beneficial routine where you place your infant on his or her stomach for a few minutes a day to help with their development. Implementing tummy time, even when your baby is just a few days old, is a wonderful way to build your child’s muscle control and strength. Be advised: your baby should always be supervised during tummy time just to be safe!
What are the benefits of tummy time?
We’re glad you asked! Here are four of the benefits your infant will experience with regular tummy time.
- Developing strong neck and shoulder muscles
- Improving motor skills
- Preventing flat spots on the head from developing (positional plagiocephaly)
- Building the strength they’ll need to eventually roll over, sit, and crawl
How to practice tummy time
To begin, simply lay a blanket or playmat out on the floor, finding a safe spot away from any dangers (cords, electrical outlets, sharp edges, etc.). Then, place your baby on the blanket on their stomach. Finally, lay out a few toys for the baby to look at and play with during tummy time—this isn’t necessary for newborns (but it can’t hurt!), but as the baby grows, you’ll want to incorporate interesting toys for them to look at.
What should I do if my baby doesn’t like tummy time?
This happens! A great way to solve for your infant not loving traditional tummy time is to lay them stomach-down on your chest while you are reclining and have tummy time (and skin-to-skin time!) together. You can also cradle them in your arms while they’re facing downward as another alternative method.
How often can you do tummy time?
You can incorporate 2-3 tummy time sessions into baby’s day to help promote all of the great benefits like stronger muscles and increased motor skills. For very young babies only 3-5 minutes per session is sufficient. As the baby grows, you can make these sessions longer and longer, especially once they start to learn to roll and scoot.
The best part about TT? Taking advantage of the opportunity to sit with your baby and play. It’s a great way to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company when you aren’t busy feeding, changing, or getting your baby to sleep!
For access to more parenting advice, visit us at The Baby Box Co. so we can #ParentSmarter together.