Tummy time helps lay the foundation for all of those gross motor skills your baby will be doing in the blink of an eye - and that’s not the mention it can make for some precious photo opportunities. The challenge? Some babies need a bit more convincing about the merits of hanging out on their bellies.
Despite the bellyaching that is to be expected from some babies, it’s so worth encouraging them to push through the burn and come to love time on their tummies. That’s because giving babies time on their stomachs while they are awake, alert and supervised is the ideal training for the crawling, walking and running skills that are to come. It also helps prevent plagiocephaly, or “flat head syndrome.”
But unlike marathon training sessions, tummy time can start with as little as two or three minutes at a time a few times a day with your newborn. As they grow, strengthen and observe more around them, you both can work up to 20 or so minute sessions by the age of four months.
Key word here: both. Helping to encourage your little one by getting down on their eye level, talking to them and showing them toys can help keep them motivated through tummy time. You can even try to do a little infant back massage to promote loosening up those little muscles. It also helps to give them some stimulating toys to draw their attention upward while they’re learning to control their necks.
Although this may feel like an unpleasant homework assignment for baby at first, it won’t be long until they are begging to get down on the floor to crawl.
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