Implementing tummy time as a part of one's daily routine can help your baby develop a strong head, neck and shoulder muscles and promote overall motor skills, just to name a few things. The more time babies spend on their tummies the earlier they might begin to roll over, crawl, sit without support, and pull to stand. By starting with just a few minutes a day, a few times a day, you will help your baby get use to tummy time. You can begin by laying your newborn on his/her tummy across your lap or chest and as your baby grow stronger, place him/her on a blanket on the floor while alert and never unattended. Age appropriate toys can be arranged within reach or within visual field to help increase tolerance and skills.
Why is Tummy Time Important?
- Helps develop the muscles that keep your baby’s head up and turn his/her head from side to side; and it builds strength throughout back, neck, buttocks and legs.
- Baby learns how to push up on his/her elbows and hands to help get ready to roll, belly crawl, and sit.
- Without enough time time, babies may be at risk for being delayed in crawling, sitting, and walking.
Tips for Positioning:
- Lie down on the floor or a bed, flat or propped up on pillows. Place baby on chest so that you are face-to-face making sure to always hold the baby firmly for safety.
- Get down level with your baby to encourage eye contact.
- Place baby face-down across lap to burp or soothe, while a hand is on baby’s bottom to help steady and calm.
- Carry baby by sliding one hand under the tummy and between the legs when carrying the baby tummy down. Be sure to nestle the baby close to body.
To Help Your Baby’s Development:
- Limit how much time baby spends in a swing, bouncy chair, exersaucer, infant seat or car seat. Babies need to be able to learn how their bodies work by using their own muscles through decrease support.
- If baby has trouble picking up head, roll up a small thin towel or receiving blanket and place it under his chest with his arms in front of it.
Enjoy the moments spent with your baby. Tummy time can be a great time for bonding and engagement as you set aside times during the day to fully engage in assisting your baby with his or her development progress.
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