Your baby spends most of the time sleeping on his or her back. However, when you place your baby on his or her tummy you observe him or her cooing happily. Whatever might be your baby’s reaction, tummy time is important in your little one’s in your daily routine.
Read this article to understand tummy time in your baby.
What is Tummy Time?
Tummy time is a milestone for your little one. Tummy time is important to strengthen the back, arm, neck, leg, and shoulder muscles. Therefore, if you put your little one on his or her tummy, especially when he or she’s awake, all the muscles of your little munchkin work simultaneously. In fact, your baby’s weight and strength of the forearms and upper part of the body increase. Adding on to this, tummy time in your baby encourages rolling over, crawling, sitting up and ultimately walking.
What Are The Benefits of Tummy Time?
There are several benefits of tummy time in your baby, during wake hours, and they are:
- The practice of tummy time reduces the chances of your baby’s developing flat spots on his or her head. Many times, a flat spot may result in distortion of your little one’s facial features.
- Tummy time helps in developing the muscle strength of your baby’s neck, shoulder, arms, etc. This further helps your baby in lifting his or her head.
- Tummy time makes way for motor skills and sensory development. In fact, he or she learns to roll over, sit up, crawl and walk.
- As your little one performs tummy time, he or she gets attracted to the coloured objects around the room and rotates his or her eyes, thus making the eye muscles strong.
- Tummy time contributes to better cardiovascular health and body mass index in your little one.
When Should You Begin Tummy Time With Your Baby?
According to the experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can start tummy time in your little one, as soon as your newborn’s cord stump falls off. In fact, 2 to 3 sessions of tummy time in a day might help your cuddly little one a lot.
How To Do Tummy Time?
To start your tummy time with your baby, put your baby on your chest or stomach while you are in a reclined position on a chair, bed, or floor. During this time, you can bond with your little one better. You can make eye contact as much as possible, talk in an animated way, and make several facial expressions.
Well! Tummy time can be different for your newborn and for your older baby.
Tummy Time For Your Newborn
From 0 to 3 months old, as your newborn is beginning to develop control of the head and neck follow these guidelines:
- Keep your newborn’s belly on your chest or lap, while he or she is awake.
- Look into his or her eyes, give him or her a big smile and interact with her in a sing–song voice
By doing so, your newborn might gain strength and control over his or her head and neck muscles by the end of the first month.
Tummy Time If Your Baby is Older
By the time, your baby is 4 to 7 months old, you can give tummy time to your baby in these ways:
- Keep your baby’s tummy on the floor, which may be covered with a blanket, or mat.
- Play and interact with him or her while he or she is lying on the floor. You can even dangle a toy in front of your munchkin, during this time.
- Start giving him or her tummy time sessions at least 3 to 5 times and gradually increase the timings.
You will notice your little one will be able to lift her tummy, chest and will start pushing her arms and back and also try to sit up.
What Are The Ways to Turn Your Baby’s Tummy Time Into Play Time?
Undoubtedly, tummy time is a great way to have fun with your child. Some ideas for you are:
- Put your little one’s favourite toy away from his or her reach and encourage him or her to get the toy.
- Put your baby’s toy around different corners of your little one’s room and allow him or her to reach the different points.
- Place your baby on your chest or lap and bond with your baby for his or her comfort.
However, if your munchkin does not like tummy time, give him or her a colourful toy within his or her reach, be with him or her on the floor and try side-lying on your baby.
Keep an eye on your little one’s development, when it comes to tummy time. However, if you still have questions consult your child’s specialist and follow his or her advise.