By: Heather Van Mil
Tummy Time Tips
As many parents know, tummy time is a very important part of your baby’s development, but do you know why?
As Leslie Farrar from Leap! Therapy for Kids explains,
“Tummy time is extremely important for infants as it helps with many aspects of infant development. Tummy time helps to develop improved strength in the neck, back and shoulder muscles, which will help infants learn to sit and to move.
Tummy time is also important to help prevent flattening of the head and tightening of the neck muscles on one side [torticollis], which can happen if infants spend too much time in one position on their back.
Encouraging your child to lay on their tummy can help to improve muscular balance and strength, among other things. There are many ways to help little ones to be comfortable and enjoy being on their tummy, so if they are resisting, seek some help. Time between parents and their infants should be an enjoyable and positive experience.”
My baby resists tummy time, help!
Are you wondering what to do if your little one resists tummy time? Check this out.
Let your baby explore on the floor
Put away the swing, the exersaucer, the bouncy seat, the carrier and the stroller – at least for a bit. Often babies won’t like tummy time if they are used to being contained.
Engaging your baby in play with a favourite toy will help them forget that they’re doing something they don’t like. My favourite is a mirror laid flat on the floor with colourful balls rolling by or a flashlight shining on the floor in a darkened room.
Get down with them
Not only will you be leading by doing, you will be engaging them, face to face, on their level. Sing a song or make silly faces – after all, you are your baby’s favourite toy.
Repetition is key
Just minutes a few times a day is great. As Leslie mentioned, you want your time with your baby to be enjoyable and positive, so wrap up your tummy time when they have had enough, but don’t let that discourage you from trying again later. Every little bit helps.
Find a friend
Babies are endlessly fascinated with each other and learn so much from observation. Get together with a friend or join a Mom and Baby class where group tummy time is featured. It will not only motivate your baby, but help encourage you too!