What exactly is Tummy Time?
Tummy Time is the ability for a baby to hold his/her head up without assistance. This skill is important for a baby to properly develop. You can begin as early as two weeks after baby is born.
How do I do it?
All you need is a flat surface and a small mat. Place baby on belly and allow baby to strengthen neck and back muscles for 3-5 minutes at a time. Increase time as baby gets stronger. Place small toys in front of baby or get down on his/her level to play.
What are the benefits?
*Increases hand/eye coordination: Babies are typically staring at the ceiling but Tummy Time allows babies to have a different perspective. Tummy Time strengthens different muscles that don’t get worked when they are on their backs. They also have a better range of movement and motion that allows them to reach and grasp for objects.
*Aids in Gross Motor Development: When placing baby on their bellies, they will kick and push and this is precisely what helps with gross motor development. It will also be the stepping-stone to crawling, standing up and even walking.
*Fosters Independence: While skin-to-skin with caregivers is so very vital for baby’s development, this practice also helps baby to realize that he/she can be independent. Of course, babies on their tummies should be supervised at all times but baby can explore and learn without your help when on their bellies.
*Stimulates Senses: Because baby is so close to the ground, he/she is able to focus their eyes on what’s in front of them. Baby is able to turn neck when hearing sounds. Baby can touch and grab for toys in front of them.
*Builds Endurance: Tummy Time will make your baby stronger and stronger. He/She will be able to last longer and longer each time. It’s similar to running a marathon. With practice and endurance, baby will be moving in no time.
As your baby gets older, try to give him/her around 15 minutes a day on tummies.