I love tummy time!
Tummy time is really important for babies, not only does it help to strengthen their neck, back and shoulder muscles it helps with motor control, finger and hand strength and is a gateway to their crawling skills.
Benefits of tummy time :
Works on babies propreception ( where there bodies are in space )
Vestibular system ( babies inner ear and balance)
Touch - lots of opportunities to incorporate different materials and toys to stimulate babies touch .
Vision Babies can learn to focus on objects in front of them , track and move them.
Tummy time is incredible for helping babies gain their strength. Most of the time our babies are lying on their back, while they are sleeping, playing, in bouncers or carseats, so it is really important that we change their position to help their strength & co-ordination and to prevent areas of their head becoming flattened. The best thing is that you don't need any complicated equipment, just a blanket on the floor or a playmat!
Some babies really don't like tummy time, it is a really different sensation for them, plus their head is the heaviest part of their body. The key to success is to do tummy time little and often.
Starting with a few minutes at a time, following babies lead and cuddling them in if they begin to become distressed or fuss. Lying next to baby, talking, stroking, cuddling, giviong them lots of eye contact and smiles can encourage them to stay in tummy time.
Also using toys and props can be a great way to encourage tummy time.
Sensory bottles and water play mats ( as shown in the images ) can be a great way to encourage babies to do tummy time.
Other tummy time ideas :
using a scarf and playing peek aboo
putting baby in tiger in the tree hold ( see video below)
using a mirror infront of baby
read them a story - books with contrasting images and sensory elements like the 'That's not my books' are great.
Try some baby yoga moves ! ( see video below ) not suitable for babies less than 8 weeks
Use some musical instruments, rattles, rain makers, drums can help encourage babies to start to pull up on their arms too .
Using sensory lights in a darkened room can really engage babies in tummy time.
Use different fabrics and materials for baby to lie on to encourage them to reach , touch and feel.
Tummy time with another baby or sibling. They love looking at their friends
Please ensure that your little one is supervised at all times when participating in the activities - in eye sight and arms reach.
Here is a video I did on encouraging tummy time.
Let me know how you get on!
Love Elisa x