With your baby spending so much time on their back while they sleep, they need some tummy time while they’re awake! Most of your baby’s vital developments occur when they’re on their tummies.
Lying on their back is the safest position whilst they sleep, so during the day they need to spend some time on their belly. Regularly lying on their back puts your baby at the risk of having a flat spot on their head.
Also, if they’re constantly on their back they won’t be getting enough exercise and building up muscle in their head, neck and shoulders. When on their tummy your baby has to move their head to see people; left, right, up, down. These movements are part of what strengthens their neck, head and shoulder muscles.
Tummy time is important for your baby’s movement developments. When your baby learns to crawl it is from the tummy time position, so when they’re old enough place a mat down and put them on those little bellies.
Tummy Time Steps
- Be patient – some babies will only tolerate Tummy Time for a short time, so don’t be frustrated if they don’t want to stay on their stomachs. Just doing this for a little bit each day will help build up strength for your baby.
- Go to their level – literally get down on your tummy to their level. They’ll be less inclined to want to move to another position if you are down there with them. It’ll seem like a less scary and more fun activity.
- Use plastic mirrors – try placing a plastic mirror in front of your baby. They’ll be mesmerised by their own reflection, it’ll entertain them for hours!
- Put your baby on your tummy – they’ll enjoy looking at you and watching what you do. It’s also a good way for skin-to-skin contact and bonding.
- Tummy time is family time – it can include mum and dad, grandma and grandpa, family pets, anyone around; the more people involved, the more your baby will enjoy it. If you have an older child, the baby would love them to be involved with tummy time as well.
- Work with other activities – it’s easy to fit tummy time into your daily routine. Just bathed the baby? Put them on their tummy to dry them or when applying moisturiser.
Source: Baby Centre & WebMD