- The Importance of Tummy Time
The Importance of Tummy Time
As Mums, we know how important regular exercise is for our minds and bodies.
Well...it is for our bubs too, and soon after birth, your little one can also start their very first exercise routine with tummy time.
Much like the name suggests, tummy time is when you place your baby on their tummy during their awake time.
It’s super important, (for many reasons), but let’s start with the basics.
2. When to Start
Soon after birth, you can start a daily tummy time routine which should continue right up until your baby starts to crawl.
You might start with just 1-2 minutes, a few times a day, working up to at least one hour per day by about 3 months old.
When you start, simply laying back and placing bub on their tummy, on your chest works well. (Extra snuggles for you too, who doesn’t love that)
As they grow, you can do tummy time in a safe space on the floor, or by holding him or her upright over your shoulder.
3. Why it's so Important
Current guidelines recommend that babies sleep on their backs, so when you think about it, babies spend a lot of time in this one position.
Tummy time is crucial for them to get off their backs, and develop their muscles, specifically their neck, back, and shoulder muscles.
It helps them start to hold their head up all their own and meet other developmental milestones like crawling, rolling over, and sitting.
Tummy time also prevents babies from developing a flat spot on their head. (It’s quite common for babies to experience small flat spots which resolve on their own, however, in some cases can require further treatment)
And let’s not forget, tummy time allows your baby to view their new world from a whole new perspective. Great for healthy brain development and stimulation.
4. Tummy Time Tips
Not all babies love tummy time and a few tears can be expected, especially in the early days. Keep it interesting by changing up the location.
- Place a soft mirror (like this one) near bub for them to look at their reflection and keep them engaged.
- Use a colored, textured, or even water-filled play mat (like this one) to keep things fun and interesting.
- Scatter toys around to encourage your little one to move their head from side to side, or to start reaching for them.
- Roll up a towel and place it under your baby’s arms to give them more support on the floor.
- Make sure bub is alert, changed, and fed before your start tummy time. If they nod off to sleep, pop them back in their bassinet