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10 Reasons To Love Tummy Time!
Put Little L on her tummy and she starts to grunt, swing her arms, hold up her head then finally lets out a WAIL!
I immediately turn her back over and call it a day. Despite being a second time mama, there are things I didn’t particularly master the first time around — this clearly being one of them. When I was at the pediatrician two weeks ago, she reminded me to give her plenty of “tummy time” and teach her how to love it. I said, “Oh she doesn’t like it” but the doctor assured me it was good for their development and that is a learned habit.
I did skin-on-skin from the second she was born, but haven’t since her first month. Now we are back to tummy time here at the very busy casa — even my four year old says “Mami, don’t forget to give Little L tummy time!”
Here I outline the 10 reasons and benefits of tummy time for you and baby!
10 Reasons To Love Tummy Time!
Tummy time includes a variety of activities, positions, and routines to keep your infant spending a significant amount of time on his tummy. Whether he likes it or not (and most don’t at first), your baby needs this time to practice lifting his head, then pushing up from the ground.
Start Early And Start Slow!
Keep the skin-on-skin tummy time going beyond the first few weeks (not like I did) and it becomes a comfortable and learned habit. If you are just starting now and baby starts to cry gently massage their back or distract with toy — start with 15 seconds at a time and add on extra time each day.
Prop Baby Up!
Help baby by making a bolster by rolling up a blanket or towel and place under chest. We use a boppy pillow — also a small cushion can work too! This makes it easier for baby and feel like less of a struggle. And remember, never leave baby unsupervised.
Get Down With Baby!
My son and I lay on the ground with Little L encouraging her and making eye contact. Baby will feel more secure seeing you there and remember to sing or talk to make it fun!
Tummy Time On Your Lap!
If baby really isn’t taking to tummy time on the ground, place baby on your lap (long way) and provide head support. Little L likes this after having her milk and also helps to burp her!
Make It Part Of Baby's Daily Routine
Find the right time for you and baby. Make sure baby isn’t tired or hungry. For us the best time comes after her morning bath and baby massage. As a bonus, after all that effort she is ready for a long mid morning nap!
D&E: Distract And Entertain!
You want baby to like and enjoy tummy time so make sure to place toys or a mirror in their view or make silly faces. Little L has started to react to different expressions and even sticks out her tongue when I do. They quickly forget they are on their tummy and will begin to enjoy it.
A Whole New World!
Having them on their tummy gives baby a different view of their new world and encourages additional head movement. On the plus side, it gives us mamas super cute pictures. I don’t know about you, but I love getting pictures of baby from different angles!
Prepares Baby For Crawling And Rolling
Tummy time is essentially a baby workout and is the foundation for future skills. My son and I joke around and say that Little L is in her “gym” when we place her on her play mat. “Tummy time is key to help baby reach physical milestones such as rolling over, crawling and eventually walking.”
Quality Mommy-Baby Time
Tummy time provides yet another way to bond with your baby while helping them develop. I enjoy the giggles and laughs when she sees my son and I down on the floor with her. It’s also a fantastic way for older siblings to connect and get to know the new baby.
Strengthen Back And Neck Muscles!
Despite not liking it at first, Little L does hold her head up really well. “On her tummy, your baby lifts her head, which strengthens her neck and upper back muscles. Being able to move her head reduces your baby’s risk of SIDS because she can move away from anything smothering her. Strong muscles let your baby roll over, sit, and crawl.”
*If you are unsure of techniques or baby isn’t taking to it, please make sure to consult with your pediatrician if you have any doubts — these are suggestions based on personal experiences.•
Sources Parent.com, WebMD, BabyCenter