Babies need tummy time to develop their back strength, neck strength and core strength. Yet, some babies don’t usually enjoy their tummy time.
You can make tummy time fun by alerting the way you do it to make it fun. For instance, try putting your baby on your chest and talking with your baby. While in this position, you can also sing or make funny faces. Enjoy being close and seeing each other.
Another idea is to lay your baby on a soft mat/blanket on the floor and put toys in front of them and encourage them to reach out and grab a toy. You can also use a baby mirror (found in the Let’s Talk Kids learning kits: https://letstalkkids.info) to have your baby see their face. Point out their eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, etc.
Another idea is to lay on the floor next to your baby and play together. You can look at your baby face-to-face or incorporate toys. When your baby sees you on the floor with them, they might be more comfortable to lay and play together.
Tummy time is your baby’s first form of exercise. Baby needs tummy time to develop the back strength, neck strength and core strength. The strength developed by tummy time will help your baby be able to lift his head, roll over, reach for toys, crawl, and finally walk.
In today’s society, babies spend a lot of time on their back sleeping, in car seats and in strollers; this is why spending time on the baby’s tummy is so important.
We encourage you to do tummy time each day with your baby. The recommendation is 10 minutes/day times the age of your baby’s months. For instance, if your baby is 2 months old; they should be doing 20 minutes of tummy time daily whereas a 5-month-old should be doing up to 50 minutes of tummy per day. Parents can break up tummy time into smaller chunks of time. For instance, do 5 minutes after waking up or 10 minutes after going on a walk.
Always follow your baby’s cues. If your baby starts to fuss or cry after a few minutes of tummy time, please pick up and comfort your baby. Just as exercise wears us out, so it does for baby too.
Gradual steps make tummy time a fun time for playing, learning and developing your baby’s large muscles. We celebrate all that you are doing to support your baby’s tummy time. Have fun learning together!
© BABY KNOW, 2023