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Does My Baby Need Tummy Time?

Benefits of Tummy Time For Your Baby

No doubt you've read about it, heard about it and will be asked about it by a health professional or another parent - tummy time for your baby! So what is tummy time?

As the name suggests, tummy time is time that your baby spends on their stomach with weight on their forearms, while awake and supervised.

This is a very important activity for your baby as it helps build your baby’s head, neck and upper body strength and protect the shape of their head.

Tummy time is challenging for babies as their heads are heavy and they will be a little unhappy to start with, but it really is important to keep trying.

Why Tummy Time is Important

Tummy time is important for your baby each day. Your baby needs to lie on their tummy with weight on their forearms to build strength in their neck, which will help to develop their head control.

They will also be building upper body strength in their shoulders and back to help move their bodies when they start to roll, sit and crawl.

This activity allows your baby to see the world from a different angle and is an important part of healthy brain development.

Tummy time also helps to prevent flat spots on the back of baby's head, that can be caused from spending a lot of time on their back in one position. And tummy time is going to help your baby to meet important milestones.

Tummy Time Bonding with Mum

When Should I Start Tummy Time?

The best time to start tummy time is soon after birth. Babies who start tummy time regularly can manage tummy time for longer time periods.

At first, try tummy time for 1-2 minutes a few times a day.

Slowly increase the activity time and aim for 10-15 minutes, several times a day by about 4 months of age.

How to Set Up for Tummy Time

Lay out a soft towel or play mat for your baby to lie on. We love the linen play mats from The Muse Edition as they are made using a sustainable premium linen blend fabric that is naturally hypoallergenic and thermoregulating.

Place some toys close to your baby on the play mat. Ecostork loves the Kiin silicone stacking toys as they are soft and flexible for little hands to grab. They are also safe and non-toxic for your child to chew and play with.

The Done by Deer Activity Spiral is also an ideal tummy time toy as it has a variety of sounds and textures to entertain your little one including a rattle, crinkle sounds, a non-breakable mirror and teething rings.

Move the toys in front of your baby’s face to encourage them to move, lift and turn their head. This helps to focus their eyes and stay interested.

For a change of scenery, you could move outside and find a level spot in the backyard or at a park and try tummy time in a different place.

Enjoy Tummy Time Outdoors with your Baby

Keep Tummy Time Fun, Safe and Interesting

By talking and singing, stroking your baby's back or tickling their little hands lets your baby know you are there and it's great for interaction.

It's very important to supervise your baby during tummy time. You will need to clear away dangerous items as your baby gets stronger and starts moving more.

Your baby might be grizzly and not like tummy time on the floor, so you could try a rolled-up bamboo/cotton blend Kiin Towel under your baby’s armpits and chest.

The best time for tummy time is when your baby is not too tired, happy, interested in their surroundings and not after a feed, as it may cause discomfort and vomiting. 

You may find initally you need to help your baby into the right position up onto their elbows to take their weight.

It can be challenging at first, so it's ok to take a break for a few days or shorten the activity to make it more comfortable for your baby. 

After a little bit of practice, you will find some fun ways to engage with your baby such as getting down on the floor with them and using toys or rattles, or by talking and singing to them.

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