Friday, May 8, 2009

Physical Friday: Tummy Time

The buzz word around babies is always tummy time! "Make sure they get their tummy time!" "Are you putting your baby on her tummy?" "How much time does your baby spend on her tummy?" Everyone is so concerned with tummy time! and for good reason, too.

Here's the deal: Babies are born with big heads and weak little muscles. It takes a lot of work to build up the strength in their necks to hold those big heads up. That's why they sleep all the time! They're so tired from working on strengthening those muscles.

Tummy time provides the perfect opportunity to help baby develop neck and head strength. My babies, though, are NOT fans of tummy time. Even now, at 8 months, when Elli rolls to her tummy she fusses until we get her sitting up again. But, there are lots of ways to make tummy time work. You can start by laying your baby across your lap on his tummy. Another way to be more involved in tummy time is to lay on your back or recline and put your baby on your chest so you can look at each other. Since babies love faces, this is a great way to make tummy time interesting.

As your little one gets older and stronger, move tummy time to the floor. At first you want to aim for a combined total of 5 minutes a day of tummy time. Once your baby can do 5 minutes in one session, gradually increase the number of times you do tummy time to several a day. Keep tummy time interesting by getting down on your tummy and talking to your baby. You can also put a toy in front of baby to encourage her to keep her head up.

Eventually little ones learn to hold their chest up off the floor with their arms. Then they learn to move their arms to reach for toys. All these aspects of tummy time help babies get stronger and more coordinated which leads to other milestones like crawling and walking.

How does your little one react to tummy time?


schuy´s said...

very nice website!

wonderful to read.


greetings from hamburg, germany!

Kristin said...

Baylie hated tummy time. We would work on it everyday, but she never liked it. Now she sleeps on her tummy.

Kara said...

My son also hated tummy time; thankfully my brother-in-law encouraged us that he'd eventually get past that, so we kept with it. One thing that helped was small doses- flipping him to his back just as he was getting fussy, then back to his stomach awhile later.

Amber said...

Schuy's: Welcome! Cute shoes on your site.

Kristin: Mine sleep on their tummies now, too. Sometimes Elli scoots herself and ends up with her feet hanging out through the railings. But she just keeps sleeping on!

Kara: I like the idea of small doses working up to longer doses. I'm so glad someone was there to encourage you. Sometimes that's all it takes!

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