Age: , baby, parent
Skill for Bub: Muscle builder, Just for fun
Placing your baby on his tummy is an important activity for building strength in the head, neck, shoulder and back muscles – those that will help him crawl, roll over and learn to explore his world. Tummy time can also prevent the back of your baby’s head from becoming flat (positional plagiocephaly).
Tummy time is as fun as it is educational – and vital to Baby’s development. It is important to incorporate tummy time into your baby’s daily routine so that he will begin to strengthen the muscles in his head, neck, shoulders and back. The development of these muscles is a prerequisite to rolling over and crawling, keys that help Baby discover the world around him. Start tummy time soon after birth, as part of baby’s daily play. In the first few weeks, try tummy time for 1-2 minutes, 2-3 times a day, at different times of the day.
- Choose a time of day when Baby is alert and happy (before mealtime is best, or at least 30 minutes after mealtime to avoid spitting up).
- Place Baby on his tummy on a blanket on the floor. Position yourself so that you are also on your tummy but in front of Baby’s head.
- Begin talking and singing to your baby. Encourage him to lift his head to see you.
- Do not be discouraged if your baby cannot keep his head up for long. A baby’s head is the heaviest part of his body at this point and takes tremendous effort to lift.
- Start with a few minutes three times a day and work up to 15 minutes each time.
- Get others in on the act. Encourage friends, relatives, and your child’s caregivers to get down on the floor for short periods of tummy time with him as well.