Providing your young infant with tummy time each day will help promote his/her growth and development as well as help prevent flat spots from forming on his/her head. Most infants will resist being placed on their tummies at first and some will even cry and struggle with the task. A parent’s persistence is critical though because strengthening the muscles groups used during tummy time will later help his/her child with gross motor skills such as rolling over and pulling up.
Here are a few tips to help make tummy time more enjoyable both for you and your baby.
Start very early. Placing your baby on your chest while lying down or reclining will help him/her get used to the feeling of pressure on his/her tummy. You can also place your baby across your lap.
Make sure you start gradually. Tummy time is a work in progress and you do not want to tire your baby out or frustrate them by leaving them on their tummy too long.
Distraction is a fantastic tool to use during tummy time. Use rattles, music, brightly colored objects, etc. to get your baby’s attention and to get them to hold his/her head up high.
Get down on your baby’s level. Lie down on the floor facing your child and talk or read to him/her. This can be a great time to bond with your little one.
Schedule tummy time into your regular routine. If you set aside a specific time to do tummy time with your child each day it will eventually turn into a habit.