‘Tummy time’ is not just a cute alliteration or a convenient baby position, it’s one of the most important daily exercises for your little one.
Think of it as a rite of passage.
One which guides your newborn towards the development of motor, visual, and sensory skills.
Yes, as you can see, TT is an integral part of infancy.
And as a conscious mama, you’ll want to ensure your baby is as comfortable, confident and carefree as possible.
If you’re a first-time parent, this blog is meant for you.
Because Greendigo is about to give you the low down (pun intended) on tummy time!
What is tummy time?
Tummy time, as its name suggests, is a period during the day when your baby is placed on their stomach.
This is a supervised, daily activity that promotes healthy growth and development in newborns.
It’s crucial to note that your little one must be awake during this process.
Why is tummy time important for your tot?
There are a number of reasons as to why tummy time is a mama-approved and doctor-recommended practice:
1. Develops neck and shoulder muscles.
2. Promotes gross motor skills.
3. Prevents positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, which occurs when the skull bone plates settle in a manner that creates flat spots on a newborn’s head.
4. Prevents positional torticollis, or twisted neck syndrome, which occurs when the neck muscles become tight causing the baby to tilt their head to one side.
5. Builds up the strength which is needed for rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking.
How do you implement tummy time?
The most normal and natural way to start tummy time is by laying your infant on their belly across your lap or chest (tummy-to-lap or tummy-to-chest).
This will help make them feel safe and grounded.
Gradually, you can move on to spreading out a blanket on the floor and laying the baby down.
You could even use a breastfeeding pillow.
Remember to scout out for a clear, flat area, first.
And don’t forget to place a toy within their reach.
Now, you can begin with a duration of 1 to 2 minutes for younger infants.
Increase the duration each day by a few minutes to coincide with the growth of your baby.
Greendigo experts suggest that mamas work their baby up to about an hour of tummy time a day by the time they reach the three-month mark.
When should tummy time stop?
By the time your little one reaches the 5-to-7-month age range, you will begin to notice the ease with which they’re manoeuvring through different positions.
That’s your sign to stop actively setting aside tummy time and letting it happen naturally.
Bear in mind, this doesn’t mean that your baby has outgrown the act of tummy time.
It merely means that they will be able to get to it on their own.
Generally speaking, this is when they start to crawl on their stomachs, followed by their hands and knees.
It’s officially time for tummy time!