We've all heard about the importance of tummy time for babies. However, knowing the significant impact it has on the development of baby's gross motor skills, including them being able to roll over, sit and crawl, doesn't necessarily make it any more enjoyable for some babies! If your baby cries and becomes distressed at tummy time, don't worry - you are not alone and we have some ideas you can try!
Midwife Cath encourages babies to begin tummy time in the first week after birth, once they are fed and content. Tummy time simply requires you to place your baby on their tummy for a minute or two at first and then build up to longer periods once they begin to get used to it. Once baby starts to cry, pick them up and give them a cuddle and reassure them so that they don't come to hate it.
There are many reasons that babies dislike tummy time. For some babies, they just don't like being put down and would rather a cuddle from Mum or Dad. For other babies that suffer from reflux, it can actually be quite uncomfortable for them.
If your baby gets distressed when placed on the floor on her belly, try placing them on their tummy in other ways, including:
- Lay down on your back and place baby on their tummy on top of you, chest-to-chest.
- Hold baby along your arm, resting on their tummy.
- Lay your baby down across your lap and gently rub their back. (This is also a great way to burp baby!)
- If your baby suffers from reflux and doesn't like the pressure on their tummy after a feed, try propping them up on your Big Flopsy nursing pillow.
There are other ways to make tummy time more enjoyable for your little one too. Try these tips:
- Placing a mirror in front of them so they can look at themselves
- Use a rattle or their favourite toy to encourage them to lift their head
- Lay down next to your baby and read them a story, play peekaboo or sing some nursery rhymes.
While it can be stressful for everyone, it is important to continue to do tummy time, building up from even just a few seconds at first. It is an important building block in a baby’s gross motor development, increasing the strength of the neck and back muscles that baby will use to roll and crawl. Despite the importance of tummy time, to ensure safe sleeping, always place your little one on their back to sleep or in the Cocoonababy nest.
What tips do you have to help some baby's enjoy tummy time? Share with us in the comments below!