I wish I knew this information when my kids were babies. Tummy time is so important for babies. Tummy time can help strengthen babies muscles and help babies development.
What is Tummy Time For Babies? Tummy time is simply laying your baby on the tummy or stomach. Tummy time strengthens muscles, makes baby active,helps developing gros motors skills and finemotor skills, aids in cognitive development.
Tummy time can be made exciting using toys, ensuring that the sessions are fun, short and limited. Read on to learn how to get the best out of tummy time for your baby.
How soon after birth should you start tummy time?
I was surprised to know that tummy time can be started as soon as we get baby home from the hospital.
You can start off with 1 to 2 minute sessions 2 to 3 times a day and gradually increase it to 3 to 5 minute per session.
As you get confident as a mom, you will be able to handle this much better and get in more times per day.
Increase the tummy time sessions by 5 to 10 minutes per month. So ideally by around the third month independently we should be having 20 to 30 minutes of tummy time in a day.
Can you do
tummy time with a newborn?
Yes you can. Just seek some advice and help if you are scared or unsure. Some parents like to wait till the umbilical cord heals.
With my daughter I had no clue about tummy time. Looking back I realise having her lying on my chest was the tummy time she had.
Her grandparents also lay her on their chest, sometimes on the floor on a mat in between them.
When we had our son, I was unwell. I was partially bedridden. I am not sure if that is why, but he decided to move around himself.
Even before the umbilical cord healed, he was rolling onto his stomach by himself.
Each baby is different and unique. If you find you are tired, stressed out, just skip the tummy time or get in fewer sessions.
The important thing is we bond with the baby. Laying the baby on our chest is tummy time ( and is more than enough).
When should we stop tummy time?
By around 6 months of age when the baby starts rolling over independently, you can reduce and stop tummy time.
At this age baby does not need mommy for moving around as much. This is that bittersweet moment. Yayyy… baby is independent… Ohh…baby does not want mamma anymore.
Well baby is still small and does need mommy, but they are getting independent and can control their movements.
So, at this point we can cut back on dedicated tummy times, if you find baby is doing tummy time himself. Usually it will just be rolling over by their own ( that is what my baby did).
Once on the tummy, they try to move towards something they find super interesting.
So warning mamma… it is time you made sure you have child proofed your home. Things can get nasty otherwise… you have a baby on the prowl.
What are the benefits of Tummy Time?
Tummy time has many benefits for development of babies. I literally did not know this for my first baby. By the time we had baby number two, I was reading about baby stuff…and was surprised at how a simple, mundane activity can be so beneficial to the baby.
After all what is it? Just laying baby on tummy. The benefits are a lot.
- Helps strengthen neck muscles
- Makes baby independent
- Encourages Sensory Integration, or how babies receive information, process it and use it in their daily activities
- Improves coordination of arms, legs and body parts. These are the Gross Motor Skills.
- Babies move their wrists, fingers, toes, hands. Thus the
fineMotor Skills are improved.
There used to be talk going around that tummy time reduces the formation of flat spots on babies head ( the back part). Now doctors say that is not the case.
Tummy time has one important benefit … its the special bond your family makes with the baby.
These are those special moments that we spend with baby ( just with him), being aware, alert, and bonding.
This is that time we want to be including siblings as well. An older child can help motivate baby with encouraging words, call baby towards himself ( babies do respond).
This is one way to make sure your kids learn to bond, reduce sibling rivalry and we work as a family, as a team.
Tummy Time Toys to Encourage Crawling
What Tummy Time Toys Encourage Crawling? Tummy Time Toys such as Prop Pillows, Tummy time Mats used with colorful patterns and toys encourage babies to crawl.
Some toys which can help baby spend more time on their tummy without getting cranky. Lying on the back is very comfortable for the baby and there must some incentive to make baby want to put in the extra effort for tummy time.
So we are providing this incentive using toys and distractions. A kind of motivation ( fun element) to do something they might not like doing.
Toys used in the right way and at the best intervals can help babies start crawling. Here are some ideas you might want to consider along with tummy time toys.
Tummy time mats
Placing a baby on a mat is the safest way to start tummy time. A flat soft surface is the best and a mat has the additional advantage of having baby specific patterns on them.
Tummy Time Mats have bold colours, contrasting colours and patterns specially designed for babies.
Usually when we start tummy time, baby is not ready to reach out for objects. Baby finds patterns interesting and reaches out to them eagerly.
Some mats come with water in them,these are water mats which help develop sensory skills of babies. These are perfect for babies 3 months and older.
As baby gets older start introducing a play gym.
As baby gets older they find play gyms very attractive and reach out for hanging objects. Usually play gyms come with a variety of textures, different toys, different patterns and even sounds.
The toys hang from bars. Do check in your shops for organic toys. Organic toys have no harmful chemicals in them and are safe for kids.
For smaller babies ( newborn to 3 months) use prop pillows for supporting babies head. You can support baby using rolled up blankets and towels as well.
You get a wide variety of prop pillows in the market which again have patterns on them and bright colours.
Usually 6 months and up babies love moving objects such as balls. Colourful soft balls with motion sensors are available which encourage babies to move them, shake them and throw them.