There are many important aspects to the development of your baby. While it might seem to be the most crucial of activities, the time that your child spends on his or her tummy really will contribute to their overall wellbeing in various ways, as we’ll see in this blog. If you have any doubts about the merits of tummy time, or have questions about when you should start and how long it should last, then read on.
What are the benefits?
Your baby mightn’t be overly tolerant of being on their front, but there are so many benefits that it’s really worth encouraging a bit of tummy time each day - even if it’s just a few moments here and there.
To begin with, it’s a way for your baby to explore their surroundings. It’ll improve their gross motor skills, get their muscles working (particularly and very importantly, the ones that aren’t activated when lying on their back), and is also an important step on the way to other crucial developmental milestones, such as the ability to rollover, crawl, and sit upright. There’s another reason why tummy time is so important, too - it can help prevent flat head syndrome, which occurs when a baby spends too much time on their back.
When should you start?
Once the game of life has begun, there’s little time for sitting back and relaxing: experts say that you should get started on day one. That is, of course, providing that you experiences a routine birth with no complications, and that both you and your baby have the energy and alertness required to do it properly. Be prepared, however, for your baby to be less than pleased about tummy time in the beginnning - it’s generally not their favorite activity in the world.
How long should it last?
One of the good things about tummy time is that it doesn’t require too much time. Indeed, the eventual goal is to spend just fifteen minutes on their tummy each day. This can be broken down into multiple sessions that last just a few minutes each time for a newborn baby. When they’re a little older, they should be spending longer on their front, since it’ll be additionally important that they’re developing strength.
So how do you do it? It couldn’t be simpler. Just create a soft, clean and comfortable space and lay your baby down on their front. My babies hated tummy time and to me it looked awkward and unnatural for them to be so flat and sprawled out on their tummies; If you have a babocush however, your baby can be placed in a much more natural and comfortable tummy down position, just like they’re lying against your chest. Babies tend to tolerate tummy time a lot better when on the babocush. Engage with your baby while they’re on their front, this will encourage them to lift their head. It might take a little trial and error until you figure out what works best for both you and your baby, but you’ll get the hang of it. Over time, you can build up tummy time play so that your baby is spending more and more time on their front.
Though you’ll have more pressing concerns, it’s important to build tummy time into your daily schedule, because of the many benefits that it brings.