Tummy time is the perfect opportunity to allow your infant to develop their muscles and be more aware of the surroundings. Starting at a very early age, an infant can begin to participate in tummy time and start the process of creating muscle strength.
What Is Tummy Time?
When you bring your new baby home from the hospital, your natural instinct is to make them comfortable. Placing them on their back seems like the perfect position. While this is true in most instances, there is also something to be said for using their stomachs as a support system.
With tummy time for babies, you allow them to lay on their stomach for a small amount of time each day. In the beginning, this should be as little as three to five minutes a day to get them used to the position. You can perform tummy time as soon as they are a few days old as this will allow them to grow their muscles at an early age.
As your infant gets older and more used to it, you can allow them to spend as much as 40 to 60 minutes in the position if they seem comfortable. While not every baby likes tummy time, it is important to perform this activity even it is for only a few minutes as it helps to develop their neck and arm strength as well as their eye movement.
As your baby undergoes their tummy time, they will be encouraged to look around which gives them added strength in their neck and allows them to support their head and body better. Through tummy time for babies, your child will also be using their eyes to see objects that are near them. This encourages the use of the eye muscles and will help your infant develop this part of their body.
Helping Your Baby Adjust To Tummy Time
While tummy time for infants is an important part of their development, not every baby takes to it easily and yours may show signs that they are uncomfortable performing the activity. Don’t give up on tummy time that easily. Give your baby time to adjust to the new position and always provide supervision.
With the help of these tips, you can make tummy time more enjoyable for your infant and further their muscle and curiosity development.
- Use toys: Toys can be a great way to encourage your baby during their tummy time as this will provide a distraction for them and allow them to experience something new. They will reach out to the toys around them and turn their neck and head to see what is nearby. Provide an array of toys for your baby to be interested in, but don’t overwhelm them with choices. Keep it simple and interactive.
- Place your baby on your chest: Another way for a child to enjoy tummy time when they are first starting out is by placing them right on your chest. This will allow them to look up at you and can make the experience more soothing as you are near. Engage with them to keep their interest level up and allow them to look at you so they can strengthen their muscles.
- Use massage: Massage can be a great way to allow a baby to feel comfortable during tummy time. As you or an infant massage therapist rubs their back, they will feel protected and at ease. This can help a baby that has some anxiety with tummy time and can make the entire experience more relaxing for them. Rub their back, arms, and legs during tummy time and you will soon see that through child massage therapy, your baby becomes more at ease during tummy time.
- Use plastic mirrors: Plastic mirrors can help with tummy time for babies as it allows them to see their reflection when they are in that position. Babies are naturally curious and a mirror of their reflection will interest them and help them forget that tummy time is a hard position for them to endure.
- Provide extra support: If you notice that your baby is struggling during tummy time, you may be able to help by rolling up a small towel and placing it under your infant’s arms and chest. This will give them more support until they are able to lift their head and arms themselves. This will make them more comfortable and allow tummy time to be more enjoyable for them.
Whether you decide to undergo child massage therapy as a way to help your baby feel more at ease during tummy time or use tools such as toys and mirrors to distract them during this time, your baby will begin to take more to tummy time as they get older and stronger. It is an important part of their development and should be done every day to encourage muscle strength. Early Developmental Therapy Consultants can help your baby adjust to tummy time through an array of services such as child massage therapy to promote their healthy development.