Answering your tummy time questions
When should parents start doing tummy time with their baby? What if my baby doesn't like tummy time? Why is tummy time important?
Why should we do tummy time
Development of strength Tummy time helps the baby gain strength for when they will be able to slide on their bellies, when they start to roll over, crawl, and eventually walk.
Skull Formation It can also help with head molding and preventing a flat spot on the back of the head. Face baby different directions in their crib each night to help develop neck muscles by turning a different direction to look at you each morning
Promotion of motor and sensory development Once your child is 3-4 weeks old they can be transitioned to a blanket on the floor. Use different textures of blankets to promote tactile (touch) development. Use several different toys and get down on the floor with your child may be the most motivating for them. Tummy time at this age will promote visual tracking, postural development and motor coordination.
When should we do tummy time
How early do I do tummy time? Tummy time can be started right away after the baby is born. Doing skin to skin with the parent (when the baby is on their belly while lying on the parent’s chest) is considered tummy time. Sometimes the baby will try to lift his/her head to look at the parent’s face while being held this way. They are already starting to build their muscles!
How often do I do tummy time? 2-3 times a day for a short period of time (3-5 minutes each time) and then increasing the amount of time as the baby shows that they are enjoying it.
Where do I do tummy time? The best place to do tummy time is on solid surface such as the floor or lap. A great time to do this is after you change the baby’s diaper or after a nap. Try not to do tummy time after a feeding if possible-pressure on their belly may cause them to spit up. If your baby does not like to be on their belly, place yourself or a toy within their vision or reach. Eventually they will enjoy tummy time and begin to play in this position. Make tummy time part of regular play, not a chore.
Back to Sleep——Tummy Time to Play
It is important to remember that everyone needs to be awake and alert during tummy time. NEVER leave your baby unattended, If your baby falls asleep, place them in their crib or bassinet on their back and continue to practice the safe sleep practices.
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