Why does my baby need tummy time?
Babies need to be active from birth. Baby to get moving and start building muscle strength tummy time is a great way to encourage.
Babies who don’t get much tummy time may be slower to develop than babies can do. It could take a little longer for them to reach major milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, or crawling. By giving your baby a chance to develop his muscles, you will be helping to stimulate your baby’s development.
What are the benefits of tummy time?
Tummy time has lots of benefits for your growing baby like lying on his front helps your baby to strengthen his back and shoulders, as well as giving him a chance to move his arms and legs in a different way. This will develop his gross motor skills, which will help him to roll over. He will start trying to push up from the tummy position and straighten his arms as he gets older. This is the precursor to crawling, and it will strengthen the muscles he needs to get moving.
Greater head control can be achieved from tummy time, which also strengthen your baby’s neck. This means that your baby will be able to look up and around him. Being able to see things around him will develop your baby’s coordination and his ability to follow things with his eyes. Head can become slightly flatter on one side if your baby spends a lot of time lying on his back. Tummy time can help to prevent this by relieving the pressure on the back of your baby’s head.
Guide for Infant Tummy Time
When can I start giving my baby tummy time?
Your baby can start having a small amount of tummy time soon after his birth. Wait until your baby is happy, awake, and alert, and then place him on his tummy. Baby will be quite curled up and he’ll put a lot of weight on his upper body and face. Baby is still small, make sure there aren’t any draughts around and that pets are kept out of the room. Start by giving your baby just a couple of minutes of tummy time.
Supervise your baby’s tummy time always, and never put your baby onto his tummy while he is asleep. Sleeping on his tummy may increase your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (cot death). As your baby becomes stronger and more alert, he will start trying to move his head. Plenty of tummy time will help him to reach this milestone.
How can you encourage your baby to move during tummy time?
At first, your baby won’t be able to move much. But you can still encourage him to start wiggling his arms and legs, and move his head. While your baby is lying on his tummy, get down to his level so that he knows you are nearby and keep talking, making funny noises, or singing to him while he lies on his stomach. This will encourage him to start trying to move his head to see you. He may also try to move his arms and legs in delight at the funny sounds his mummy is making!
When your baby is around three months old, he may start trying to push up on his arms. To encourage him, dangle a favourite toy above him. This will motivate your baby to look upwards, and use his arms to raise himself up towards the toy. Reaching six months, your baby’s arms, shoulders, and back will have increased in strength. Now you can start holding an object at his eye level, but a short distance away that will encourage your baby to fully straighten his arms and try to reach out for the toy. Make sure you don’t hold the toy too far away, though.
What if your baby doesn’t like being on his tummy?
Many babies won’t like being put onto their tummy at first. However, it is best to persevere and encourage your baby to have some tummy time every day. Start small with short sessions to begin with. Put your baby onto his tummy for just a minute or two minutes, and then return him to his back. Try to do this a couple of times a day. A grizzly baby’s mood will not be improved by this strange, new experience.
Lay your baby on the floor, try to get down to his level while he is on his tummy. Talk or sing to him so that he knows you are still nearby. This will help to reassure him. Lie back in a chair and rest your baby on your chest. You may already be doing this, if you’ve been using the laid-back breastfeeding position like this way he will become used to lying on his tummy, but will still be close to you. While you are in this position, you can also try holding your baby so he is looking over your shoulder.
Another good option is to hold your baby in the rugby hold. Lay your baby on his tummy across your forearm, and use your other arm to support him. Once your baby is used to being held in this way, start trying to introduce some tummy time on the floor. Bring tummy time a part of your baby’s routine. If you place your baby on his tummy. after every nappy change, or after a nap, he will begin to expect tummy time and he will become used to it.
The aim is to build up the time to a total of about an hour a day by around three months. This hour shouldn’t be all at once, but made up from short bursts across the day.