Doctors and pediatricians recommend that a baby must always be placed on their back when sleeping or taking a nap. This helps reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
But it is also important to give their head, neck and shoulder muscles the necessary exercise. Spending too much time on their back may also lead to flat spots on their head. Tummy Time is the solution.
Simply put, tummy time is when your baby or infant is placed on their belly in a structured, supervised manner. It gives them the opportunity to experience a different position and helps build the necessary strength to sit up, crawl and eventually walk.
As long as your baby is healthy, tummy time can start when they get home from the hospital. A good way to get going is by placing them tummy down on your belly as you lay on your back. This is an incredible way to develop a bond with your newborn. Both your heads must be pointed in the same direction.
The sooner you start, the more natural it will seem and eventually you will be able to place your baby down on a floor for a few minutes at a time.
1. Never leave your baby unattended. It must always be done under parental or adult supervision. Both the supervising adult and your baby must be awake and alert.
2. Make sure the floor is clean and covered with a soft rug or blanket. Engage them with singing, talking and colorful toys.
3. It isn’t always a pleasant experience for the baby, so start with short intervals of tummy time and work your way up. Never force your baby to to stay on their tummy if they are crying or seem uncomfortable.
4. Avoid giving them belly time after a meal or if they are experiencing discomfort or are irritated. Selecting the right time is critical.
5. Make sure to come down to their level. Your child is more likely to enjoy this time if they are able to interact with you in a loving, stimulating way.
6. Pediatricians recommend tummy time in infants up to 2-3 times a day 3-5 minutes each time. By 3-4 months, try for around 20 minutes of tummy time a day. If your baby is happy and alert you can work up to 40-60 total daily minutes.
Always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child and their health.
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