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6 tips on Tummy Time for babies

 
Not all babies like their first few sessions of tummy time, but with your encouragement it’s an early developmental milestone they’ll start to enjoy in their own time. However, the sooner you start, the quicker they will adapt. Check out our useful tummy time tips.
Not all babies like their first few sessions of tummy time, but with your encouragement it’s an early developmental milestone they’ll start to enjoy in their own time.

However, the sooner you start, the quicker they will adapt.
 

Why babies need tummy time

Tummy time guidelines recommended several minutes each day to help strengthen your baby’s neck and upper back muscles and develop the coordination of their head movement.

It also helps to reduce the flattening of their head caused by sleeping on their backs, as well as the basic functions of breathing, eating and motor skill development.

A stable neck supports the functions of the throat area, maintaining a clear airway and supporting chewing, swallowing and speech development. It also provides a stable base for your child’s inner ears and eyes, balance and hand-eye coordination.

By developing their neck and back muscles and the ability to lift their head, they are developing motor skills which are later used in sitting, crawling and walking.

It’s a great way for your baby to explore their surroundings and teaches them gross motor skills as they lift and move their head from side to side.

As they get older you can encourage them to stretch and reach out for toys, which in turn will help them learn to crawl.

Baby’s today spend a lot of their time in car seats, highchairs, bouncers and buggies, but tummy time offers them the opportunity to freely move around.
 

Tummy time tips

1. Start early
In the early weeks put your baby on their stomach for a few minutes at a time, several times a day and slowly build up the time they spend on their front.

Tummy time doesn’t always need to be carried out on the floor. You can lie down on a couch with your baby on your chest, lay them across your lap, or put them on their stomach on the changing table after changing their nappy or after a bath.
 
2. Break it up
Tummy time doesn't mean putting your baby on the floor for an hour at a time. Start small and then gradually increase the time increments.

Try to build up to several sessions throughout the day that total about an hour of tummy time per day by 3 months of age.
 
3. Get involved
Get down to your child's eye-level and entertain them with silly faces, smiles or noises.

It’s fun for them and your child will want to stay in that position because they have your full attention.
 
4. Motivation
Don't rush to hand your baby their toys. Instead, as they get older put them on the floor with a plastic mirror, rattles, board books or soft toys that are slightly out of reach and encourage them to go and get them.

Musical toys are great too as they encourage your baby to lift their head to listen and look.
 
5. Support
Offer your child support by letting them lie on your chest so that they can see more easily without having to struggle as much to lift their head.

Otherwise try putting a rolled-up towel under their chest and arms, or even play ‘airplanes’, holding your baby tummy down and carrying them around the room.
 
6. Caution
Do not leave your child unattended during tummy time. Falling asleep in this position increases the risk of SIDS.

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