It’s recommended that infants spend a portion of their time when they are awake on their stomachs while you supervise them. This “tummy time” is critical for developing strong shoulder and neck muscles they’ll need to support their heads and develop skills for crawling, walking, sitting up, and more.
It can be challenging for parents of infants who aren’t fans of tummy time, but these tips for making the most of your baby’s tummy time should help.
Lay Them on Your Chest
One of the easiest ways to have your child spend time on their stomach is to rest them on yours. Whether you accompany them on the floor or sit in a reclining position on a couch, having your little one engage in tummy time while being held by you motivates them to pick up their head and lock eyes on their favorite person. This strengthens the neck, and the eye contact encourages bonding.
It’s not always convenient to place your child on your chest/stomach for tummy time. And it’s great to give baby some variety – especially if tummy time isn’t their favorite activity.
So you can call in reinforcements with a specially designed pillow to help support their neck. These pillows feature a curved design with an opening. They would make a perfect gift for an expecting mother who seems to have everything—especially if personalized.
Who’s That Cute Baby?
Most children cannot get enough of looking at themselves. A baby’s reaction to their reflection in a mirror is akin to a cat seeing itself in a glass door. They often check themselves out with great interest. This can be very motivating for them and they may keep lifting their head to check out that cute little baby in the mirror once again.
Entice Them With Toys
If you struck out with the mirror, there’s no doubt a few of their favorite toys could inspire them to look around. Babies can be mesmerized by certain toys, books, or puzzles, so placing those in front of them can be helpful.
Ideally, anything with bright colors or fun noises will tickle their fancy, leading them to lift their heads again and again.
Moving your baby to a different location than usual for tummy time can add that bit of variety they need to activate their curiosity and lift their heads to look around. If you can’t move the baby to another location, try changing their background. Hang up a colorful blanket, an eye-catching picture, or use some fun removable stickers on the wall.
Some babies aren’t all about the tummy life as others—and that’s okay! Start slowly and break up the sessions into really brief segments. You can begin with only 1 minute at a time and build up from there.
These tips for making the most of your baby’s tummy time can be really helpful for encouraging and motivating your little one.