We love tummy time! So much that we include it in our classes and encourage our parents to let their little one’s experience tummy time as often as possible. Tummy time has loads of benefits including
- helping your little one strengthen their neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, fingers, trunk, legs and feet
- helping to prevent flat spots on their head
- gateway to crawling and developing their motor skills
- helps your little one integrate some of the reflexes that they are born with, retained reflexes can have an impact on their motor and learning skills as they grow up
- helps your little one with their internal map of their body
We have supported hundreds of babies with tummy time and here are our top tips.
Start tummy time early
You can do it from day one, introduce it by popping your little one on your chest when you are reclined, it is great to get them use to the position and amazing for bonding.
Do it every day
Yup, every single day and several times a day too! Tummy time should be looked at as an activity that you do with your little one and a position to play, it should be frequent rather than a one off activity. It is really common for little ones to become fussy in tummy time when their tolerance for being in tummy time changes over time, just roll your little one over onto their back and try again later. Let everyone involved in your little one’s care know that tummy time is a position that you do often.
Be baby led
Tummy time is really hard work! Watch your baby’s signals and as soon as they indicate that they have had enough lift them up and cuddle. While they are in tummy time offer lots of contact and lots of comfort, talk to them, rub their back and let them know that you are still in the world. Don’t let them become upset, be baby led and do little and often if your little one finds it difficult. You’ll soon notice that they tolerate more as they become stronger and with lots of practice. I
Use toys as a distraction
Pop some toys out during tummy time to distract your little one, use a music toy, open a book in front of them, use a mirror, show them a high contrast toy. Distractions really help! Create little play spaces to help hold their interest in the toys you are showing.
Incorporate it into your routine
Tummy time doesn’t need to be something separate that you do, you can use lots of opportunities in your day to incorporate tummy time by massaging your little one in tummy time, popping them into tummy time on a towel after a bath, rolling them onto their front after a nappy change, doing story time in tummy time.
Use every opportunity you can, it is amazing for your little one’s development.