Tummy Time Do’s and Don’ts
Tummy time is extremely important but can also be challenging. Many babies aren’t crazy about spending time on their bellies, and parents are often uncomfortable making them do something that they seem to dislike, even if it’s for their own benefit. We have some tummy time tips to make the whole process easier, so you and your baby can adjust to tummy time and actually enjoy it.
● Don’t push it. It’s not important to rush into the recommended minimum of 60 minutes of tummy time each day, and in fact, it might be smart to wait until the umbilical stump has fallen off. Even when your baby is a little older, you can break tummy time up into 1-2 minute intervals, and gradually work your way into longer stretches.
● Do make your baby comfortable. Babies often resist tummy time, because it’s very limiting for them to be facedown. Use a small, rolled-up towel or a receiving blanket placed under the arms to prop your baby up slightly, and give her a better vantage point.
● Don’t limit tummy time to the floor. Tummy time can happen with baby on a parent’s chest or lying across a lap. It can even happen on the changing table, with you right there to interact with your little one and prevent falls. By taking tummy time to different locations, you make it more interesting and fun.
● Do listen to your baby’s cues. If your baby is getting really upset, it’s time to take a break. Tummy time is an important activity to promote development and prevent plagiocephaly, but if your baby hates it, it won’t be as beneficial. Most babies eventually outgrow their dislike of it, so just keep trying, for a few minutes at a time.
● Don’t forget the toys! Entertaining your baby during tummy time is important, because you want to make it fun! You might go with a few simple toys for her to look at, or you may want to go all out and purchase a tummy time mat, specially designed to make tummy time fun and aid development.
● Do interact with your little one during tummy time. The main thing your baby wants is you! Get down on the floor and play with him, and tummy time will be a much smoother process. When your baby is still too little to play, she’ll still like looking at toys you show her or listening to you read a story.
At Baby Begin, we want to help families learn more about things like tummy time, so their babies can grow and thrive. That’s why we offer therapy and education for babies and their families to help overcome obstacles such as plagiocephaly, torticollis and developmental delays. For information about Baby Begin, please visit our website or any of our social pages, including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.