It might not look like it, but for babies, tummy time is not as fun as you would think it is. In fact, it’s more like a terrible time for them! But how are you going to explain the importance of this to your baby? That’s right, you cannot. But that doesn’t mean you cannot make it more fun for them either.
Which is why we have today, some of the best tips to make tummy time actually fun for your babies! But before that, let’s get to know a bit more about tummy time for babies.
What’s tummy time for babies?
Tummy time is like an exercise but for infants and babies, where they are placed on their stomachs for about 3-5 minutes on comfortable support, and under supervision.
Even a few minutes of tummy time every day can play a significant role in the development of your baby by developing strong shoulder and neck muscles, thereby promoting his/her motor skills. On top of that, it also helps to avoid flat spots on the back of your baby’s head.
So, this is why tummy time is important for babies and their growth and development!
When to start tummy time for babies?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents can start tummy time for their babies as soon as they come back home from the hospital! It is advisable to keep tummy time for about a couple of minutes and practising it for 2-3 times every day. And once the baby gets more comfortable and stronger, parents can increase tummy time and/or the number of times they carry it out with their babies.
But it is also important to know what your baby wants. If he/she is still not well-adjusted to tummy time even after months, then instead of increasing the pace and time instantly, try doing that slowly and gradually.
For your tiny one, tummy time is going to be a lot of work, which is precisely why you shouldn’t force it upon them; keep trying new tricks and positions until your baby feels the most comfortable in one and instead of going too fast and forceful, start tummy time by keeping them in that position for a minute or so. Then, as they gradually get accustomed to it, up the time to two minutes, four minutes, and so on.
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9 tips to make tummy time for babies super fun!
Tummy time and massage time
While your baby is laying on their belly, gently give him/her a back rub or a soft massage and make tummy time more relaxing and comfortable than ever!
Use your exercise ball
This is an extremely fun and unique way to get on with your baby’s tummy time. Get your exercise ball, yes, the one that you haven’t used in weeks now, and lay a soft and small blanket on it as a comfortable cover for the baby. Lay your baby gently on that and securely roll him/her on the exercise ball. Sounds super fun!
The aero plane ride
If you’re using this technique, then you will have to lie down first. After that, lay your baby on your legs with their tummy down, hold onto them tightly, and take them for an aeroplane ride. Woosh! How exciting!
You could even simply sit while your baby is laying on his/her tummy on your legs.
A tummy time pillow
Make things more fun and playful by buying a tummy time pillow, play mat or boppy. Not only are these absolutely safe and secure, but they’re super comfy and cushioned to provide your baby with great support as well.
Your baby is definitely going to like this one.
The side by side position
When its tummy time for your baby, its tummy time for you too! Lay down on your stomach along with your baby on the other side. Just make sure it’s a comfortable and secure position so that your sweet pea can push up easily.
A fun workout routine
You never knew about this, but you can get motivated for a workout session because of your baby. But how? Well, you can combine your workout time along with tummy time and that way, both you and your baby would get their work done!
When you’re doing your situps, lay your baby on your chest and abdomen and voila, as you workout, your baby would be utilising his/her tummy time!
Engage your baby by combining tummy time with playtime
If you keep your baby engaged and interested while they’re laying on their belly, tummy time would begin and get over before they would even notice. Make silly noises, surround them with toys and playthings while they’re laying on their tummy, make sweet talk, and hold their attention.
Remember, the goal is to grab their attention from tummy time while they’re still doing it, so you could even use shiny toys or toys that light up or make some sort of noise.
Wow, so many fun and safe ways to start tummy time for babies!
Keep the time in check
If your baby is sleepy, cranky or hungry, then tummy time is definitely a bad idea.
So, make sure that when you get him/her ready for tummy time, your baby is happy, fully awake, and in the mood for some tummy exercise, because if not, then you are in for a crying session.
Never have your baby practise tummy time on a hard or uncomfortable surface or without proper supervision and care. Use surfaces like that of a yoga mat, your blanket or bed, etc., for comfort.
And remember, tummy time has to always be carefully supervised.
So, as long as the child is being paid full attention to and is enjoying tummy time, then tummy time for babies does not have to be torture time at all!