What is Tummy Time
Tummy time is the period of the day when your baby is awake on his stomach. The purpose of tummy time is to help babies develop their head and neck and build strength in their arms and shoulders. Tummy time also helps for babies’ motor, sensory, and visual development.
Why Tummy Time Is Important
Letting your baby spend time awake lying with his belly down provides lots of benefits. Here are some of these benefits:
Exercises Different Muscles
Letting your baby lie on his belly for a short period of time every day while they’re awake exercises his upper body muscles and promotes head control and trunk stability. This exercise makes the neck, back, arm, and leg muscles work together and build strength. This also develops the ability of your baby to sit or roll over. The purpose of tummy time also includes helping your baby practice pivoting and reaching skills which are essential for learning how to crawl.
Develops Motor Skills
According to research, a lack of tummy time can delay your baby from achieving physical development milestones such as rolling over, lifting the head, sitting up, and more. While babies naturally develop their physical body, it’s much more advisable to support your baby in building strength and developing motor skills as a parent through tummy time.
Prevents Flat Spots
The most important purpose of tummy time is to help your baby develop a ‘flat spot’ on his head. Plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome is a medically known condition that occurs when a baby’s head shapes asymmetrical.
A baby’s skull doesn’t fully harden until several months after birth. Babies’ bones are soft and pliable after birth, and this allows easier passage through the birth canal and provides an ample room for bones and tissues to grow. Because of this, it’s important to schedule tummy time for your baby for a few minutes every day.
Tips for Tummy Time
Tummy time should be easy, but it can be a challenge to keep your baby lying on his back for several minutes. Here are some tips you can use during tummy time:
Play with your baby on the floor
To keep your baby entertained and encourage them to stay on the floor, join your baby crawling on the floor or simply sit down on the floor with them. You can chat them up or offer special toys for entertainment.
Do tummy time on your own tummy
While you lie on your back, place your baby on your tummy. This is not only fun, but it also gives you sweet quality time with your baby.
Use a baby-friendly mirror
Place an unbreakable mirror on the floor and make use of his curiosity. This will entertain your baby and will keep his focus on the floor.
Tummy time is not only helpful for your baby’s head, neck, back and shoulder development, but it’s also a great chance for you to bond with your precious little one. A few minutes of tummy time every day is enough to exercise your child’s muscles. Make sure your baby is supervised during tummy time and has fun while doing it.