10 Reasons To Love Tummy Time!
Put Little L on her tummy and she starts to grunt, swing her arms, hold up her head then finally lets out a WAIL! I immediately turn her back over and call it a day. Despite being a second-time mama, there are things I didn't particularly master the first time around - this clearly being one of them. When I was at the pediatrician two weeks ago, she reminded me to give her plenty of "tummy time" and teach her how to love it. I said, "Oh she doesn't like it" but the doctor assured me it was good for their development and that is a learned habit.
I did skin-on-skin from the second she was born, but haven't since her first month. Now we are back to tummy time here at the very busy casa - even my four year old says "Mami, don't forget to give Little L tummy time!"
Here are 10 reasons to love tummy time with Baby!
1. Start Early And Start Slow!
Keep the skin-on-skin tummy time going beyond the first few weeks (not like I did) and it becomes a comfortable and learned habit. If you are just starting now and baby starts to cry gently massage their back or distract with toy - start with 15 seconds at a time and add on extra time each day.
Related: Can you spot your baby's crawling style?
2. Prop Baby Up!
Help baby by making a bolster by rolling up a blanket or towel and place under chest. We use a boppy pillow--also a small cusion can work too! This makes it easier for baby and fell like less of a struggle. And remember, never leave baby unsupervised.
3. Get Down With Baby!
My son and I lay on the ground with Little L encouraging her and making eye contact. Baby will feel more secure seeing you there and remember to sing or talk to make it fun!
4. Make It Part Of Baby's Daily Routine.
Find the right time for you and baby. Make sure baby isn't tired or hungry. For us the best time comes after her morning bath and baby massage. As a bonus, after all that effort she is ready for a long mid morning nap!
5. D&E: Distract And Entertain!
You want baby to like and enjoy tummy time so make sure to place toys or a mirror in their view or make silly faces. Little L has started to react to different expressions and even sticks out her tongue when I do. They quickly forget they are on their tummy and will begin to enjoy it.
6. A Whole New World!
Having them on their tummy gives baby a different view of their new world and encourages additional head movement. On the plus side, it gives us mamas super cute pictures. I don't know about you, but I love getting pictures of baby from different angles!
7. Prepares Baby For Crawling And Rolling.
Tummy time is essentially a baby workout and is the foundation for future skills. My son and I joke around and say that Little L is in her "gym" when we place her on her play mat. "Tummy time is key to help baby reach physical milestones such as rolling over, crawling, and eventually walking."
8.Quality Mommy-Baby Time
Tummy time provides yet another way to bond with your baby while helping them develop. I enjoy the giggles and laughs when she sees my son and I down on the floor with her. It's also a fantastic way for older siblings to connect and get to know the new baby.
9. Strengthen Back And Neck
Despite not liking it at first, Little L does hold her head up really well. "On her tummy, your baby lifts her head, which strengthens her neck and upper back muscles. Being able to move her head reduces your baby's risk of SIDS because she can move away from anything smothering her. Strong muscles let your baby roll over, sit, and crawl."
10. Tummy Time On Your Lap
If baby really isn't taking to tummy time on the ground, place baby on your lap (long way) and provide head support. Little L likes this after her milk and it also helps her to burp.
- By Maria José Ovalle
For 8 tips on how dress your little crawler, visit Disney Baby!
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