Why is Tummy Time so Important?
The development of a child is a complex process, tummy time is one of the stages of this development. Pediatricians say that tummy time is extremely useful for children. A newborn baby has to learn to keep his head, it strengthens the muscles of the neck and back. Tummy time contributes to the further development of a newborn – he eventually learns to rest on his hands, which ensures obtaining of such skills as rolling over and crawling. Also, it promotes the development of motor skills.
Infants have a very soft skull. In the first months of life, children mostly sleep on the back. If you do not lay the baby on his stomach, his head can be deformed, become flattened. It is harmful to his health.
Moreover, tummy time can prevent the appearance of an umbilical hernia. Also, this exercise can reduce stomach pain since colic can lead to winds. That is why it is recommended to lay a child on his stomach before feeding.
During tummy time, a baby sees the world from a new angle – this is good for the intellectual development of the child. Using special techniques (changing the surface on which the baby lies, showing him a mirror, and so on), you can turn the exercise into play.
When to Start Tummy Time
Here is the common question: what is the most suitable age for tummy time?
It is necessary to wait for some time after your coming from the hospital since the umbilical wound of your baby has not healed yet.
About in a week, when the wound is healed, place the baby on his tummy for a minute or two, no more. During the day, it is better to repeat the exercise on a regular basis. Gradually, the duration of the exercise should be increased to 10 minutes or even more if the child feels good.
Do not lay the baby on his stomach immediately after feeding – in the first months of life the baby regularly spits up and this position will provoke it even more. In addition, a baby can choke that will scare you.
The most suitable time is when a child is active and not hungry.
How to do Tummy Time – Tips
Prepare the room:
- For 10-20 minutes before exercise let in fresh air.
- Make sure that the room has a normal temperature, the baby should not feel cold or hot.
- Set aside all big soft items: pillows, blankets or toys. Baby can see them and get scared.
The most convenient way is to do it on a changing table or another hard surface. But it is necessary to take into account that on a hard surface it is easier for kids to learn to lift the head, so the load on the muscles is reduced! You should not do it on a soft surface or carpet because the child will feel uncomfortable.
If you have a gym ball or fit ball, it is perfect. You can put a baby on the ball while holding the legs roll him back and forth. By the way, this exercise is also very useful for colic. It is important to keep in mind that you can use a fit ball for this purpose only after complete healing of the umbilical wound.
In general, there is a huge variety of exercises with a fit ball, so you have the opportunity to diversify your tummy time, besides, it will be unusual and exciting for the kid.
If your baby is naughty during tummy time, there are some tips:
- Put the baby on your stomach so he can see your facial expressions and can listen to your voice. If it is a “naked” contact, he will be pleased even more.
- Lie on your stomach with your child, or opposite to him, distracting your baby with rhymes and songs.
- Put the baby tummy down on your knees and massage his back.
- Distract him with a toy or a mirror. Your baby will be delighted
- Put the baby on the bed and sit in front of him – your heads are on the same level. This will allow him to see you – it is very important for the baby.
- Use interesting blankets on which you put your baby. He will be interested in different textures and colors. Try to diversify his tactile sensations.
- You can pour beads, ribbons, and tinsel into a plastic bottle and shake it in front of the baby, to show how the parts are mixed.
Do not let your child get bored when he is lying on his stomach. If the newborn is naughty, do not try to do it. Try to play with him, shake hands or sing a song, and when he calms down, try again.
Tummy Time Pad
This pad is excellent for “tummy time” exercises. It is also a great simulator that helps the baby to learn to crawl. It teaches the baby to hold his head, strengthens the muscles of the chest, neck, develops logical thinking, improves motor skills, and stimulates his senses.
This bright pillow is made of soft, pleasant-to-the-touch fabric and is decorated with all sorts of ribbons which will make tummy time even more interesting for your baby.
Tummy time is a very important activity for your child, try to do it in good mood, because the baby feels it like no one else! Make these minutes cheerful, bright, and memorable for the baby, try to make him feel comfortable, distract and entertain him! The more your baby lies on the tummy, the quicker he will be able to control his body, and will begin to please you with new achievements!
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.