Your challenge: Your pediatrician says it's never too soon to start baby on tummy time. But how do you do that? Your baby isn't exactly a fan and you aren't sure how to help encourage them.
The solution: Turn tummy time into a favorite activity for both of you by getting involved—and by staying motivated about the long-term benefits of tummy time for babies. And remember, this is a major exercise for baby. They need a little training before they hit Tummy Time Pro status.
Start small: It's true that most babies can (and should!) start practicing time on their tummies within the first week of life to build strength and prepare them for all the gross motor skills they will master soon enough. But this doesn't mean it needs to be a marathon tummy time session. Aim for just a couple minutes at a time, several times and day—and then gradually extend as baby's tolerance (and strength!) increases.
Cheer them on: Many babies don't like tummy time. But many babies really don't like feeling left all alone. Make it a more enjoyable experience for them by getting down to eye-level with them on the floor and making it an activity for both of you. This gives them much-appreciated encouragement and offers a quality bonding opportunity for both of you.
Keep it interesting: Think of it less as tummy time training and more as playtime by involving some engaging, sensory toys that encourage interaction. Our favorites for a successful tummy time station include a comfortable play gym, a responsive toy (like one that lights up when baby bops it), a mirror and a prop for as they get bigger. Keep the toys in rotation so baby remains interested. A fun and informative song can help keep things interesting as well!
Mix in some DIY sensory activities: Mix up your tummy time toy arsenal with some easy sensory activities. You don't even have to be the DIY type. Even quick and easy activities like a muffin tin filled with objects for them to explore (make sure they are big enough to not be a choke hazard for baby), or a tray of water can provide fun and development for baby. (All to be played with under supervision, of course).
Pro tip: Schedule tummy time training sessions into your day so you don't forget. It may feel like a chore (for both of you) at first. But, with practice, you and baby will love the bonding time soon enough.
You've got this.
Motherly + Kids 2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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