How to Encourage Longer Tummy Time
Hey, mamas and proud papas! Did you know that tummy time is an absolute must for your little bundle of joy? Full of physical, social, and emotional benefits; tummy time is a long standing practice recommended by doctors and implemented by parents. While it may sound quite drab, it’s anything but! Here are some tummy time hacks for your baby that will excite and engage them during this special floor time activity.
Why Tummy Time is Important
Tummy time is important because it provides your baby with all kinds of colors, sensations, and sounds. It’s a time for them to lay on their stomach and take in the world around them. They will roll, reach, kick, suck, and smile, all on their own or with some gentle guidance by you. Many parents like to give their baby some space and freedom, allowing them to gravitate toward any objects around them, allowing them to take initiative to explore and learn about all kinds of items and concepts.
How to Do Tummy Time
Your baby will have no idea that they are being engaged with tummy time at first. They may even be a bit confused since you won’t be snuggling them. Place them on their tummy and sit with them initially. Roll a ball toward them, place textured items in their hands, sing songs, or even hold items toward them to help their little eyes focus and their tiny fingers to reach, clasp, and grasp. It’s important to keep tummy time short the first few sessions, so your baby doesn’t get overstimulated or overwhelmed. Eventually, start to make tummy time longer and longer, and as your baby grows, you can change up activities based on their needs, age, and stage.
For example, your baby’s neck will begin to grow very strong, allowing them to hold it up on their own, change angels, and eventually they will begin to roll, scoot, roll items, and really go for any object you put in front of them! Some parents prefer to always play music during tummy time, to expose their child to sounds, rhythm, and words. Others prefer to talk and describe everything going on around them, while others incorporate reading into tummy time fun.
Making Tummy Time Interesting, Fun, and (Best of All) Safe!
Tummy time is fun, but it needs to be a safe time as well! Because babies always surprise you, never place them by the stairs. While they may not be in their rolling stage, it’s never wise to place them near steps of any kind. The same goes for any table that contains heavy objects that may get pulled off and onto them. Don’t place your baby on a mat under a fan or chandelier above them either-accidents may happen. Because tummy time should also be a time where it’s all about your baby and their developmental milestones, keep other siblings away from them so they don't distract them. Also, keep pets gated out of the room, as they could accidentally injure the baby by stepping, scratching, or even smothering in some cases.
Always make sure your baby is attended to, and never leave them fully on their own while they are playing on their tummy.
Tummy Time Activities
Now that you know all about tummy time, here are some easy to implement activities:
1. Books, books, and more books!
Books are an essential part of tummy time. Because your baby is positioned in a placement, they are able to look and listen to stories, or even basic objects and items. Plastic, fabric, and board books are perfect for their little hands and fingers to explore. Don’t forget to add in board books that boast textures, vibrant colors, and a wide range of objects that they can start to associate with.
Source: Riff Raff Baby
2. Tummy time mirror
Babies are fascinated by tummy time mirrors. It truly allows them to see themselves up close and personal, but also helps their eyes to focus! They may even get curious and try to reach for a mirror, or wiggle toward one when their bodies are able to move and groove!
Source: Big W
3. Done by Deer Croco Tummy Time Activity Toy
This awesome toy is just the right size, shape, and texture for tummy time. This object is cute, cuddly, and full of facets that will fascinate your little one. From mirrored handles, to crinkly arms, stretchy straps, and even textured teethers, it serves as a mat and play station at the same time; keeping your baby engaged for hours.
Source: Done by Deer
4. Play Mat with Tummy Time Pillow
Keep your baby cozy with an awesome play mat complete with a built-in pillow. Perfect for initial neck support, your baby will love snuggling up on this mat as they explore their immediate world and beyond!
Source: Mister Fly
In conclusion, tummy time is very critical to your baby’s development. Their ability and interest will grow and change over the months, and you can help guide your baby to enjoying tummy time in a safe and effective way. Consider some of the tips and toys above to make tummy time the best of times!