As parents it is important to encourage and do things to help our children grow. One of the very first things that we help our babies with is their muscle strength, so we need to introduce them to tummy time.
Tummy time offers different benefits as well as increasing the strength in your babies neck.
Babies spend most of the first 5 to 6 months on their backs, or on mum's hip. Your baby can become bored with this. Tummy time is designed to counter that effect.
Tummy time is when you place your baby on their tummy and encourage them to lift their heads. A few minutes at a time is all that is needed at first, once your baby starts to feel comfortable you can then increase this time.
The Importance of Tummy Time
Tummy time is important for a baby's development. It is the one way that a baby is able to get exercise. It is designed to strengthen the muscles within the baby’s neck, trunk, as well as the arms. Different activities that a baby does while playing on their tummies is what helps them to strengthen different parts of their body.
It is important to remember that whenever you put your little one on the floor you must be there to supervise, it is the perfect time to get down to babies level and do some bonding.
When to Start Tummy Time
It is important to know when is the right time to start offering your baby tummy time. Whenever you believe your baby is ready to move onto their stomach. Around 2 months old your baby will be comfortable during playtime. By 5 months your bub will begin to prop themselves up. Transferring of weight from one arm to the other will begin around 6 months of age.
Tummy Time Activities
There are so many activities that you and your little one can do while they are on their tummies. It is important to remember that you should try more than one position this will encourage different muscle groups to strengthen.
- Get on the floor with your baby – get close to them, face to face, talk to your bub.
- Use an unbreakable mirror – babies love to look at themselves and with the mirror in front of their faces they will lift their heads.
- Encourage your bub – it is important to entice your little one to move and strengthen their muscles. Try a baby toy such as a Wooden Baby Rattle, to help develop their motor skills.
- Prop up your baby – place a pillow under their arms or chest to help raise them and offer a different point of view
There are some alternatives that you can try in order to change things up a little bit. Sometimes just a few simple things can be changed and you can get an even better baby workout.
- Flying – this is an option that can be fun for both mum and baby. Place you baby out-stretched on your legs perpendicular to the ground. While holding their hands rock them back and forth, or you can do ab crunches to rock them.
- Floor – another option for floor time is to lay on your back. Place your baby on your body chest to chest. Make faces at the little one, coax them lift their heads or rise their trunk.
Providing stimuli for your baby is important to every parent child relationship. Your baby should get at least 15 to 20 minutes tummy time every day. Experiment with a few of these tummy time activities to work out the best ways to help your baby succeed during tummy time.