If you have yet to introduce your bub to tummy time, it’s time to start. Read on to find out all you need to know as well as its benefits.
WORDS STEPHANIE CLARISSA
Here are 10 tummy time tips to follow and its benefits that Vyda S. Chai, clinical psychologist at Think Psychological Services has pointed out for us:
1. Baby lies with tummy on the floor
Use a mat or place your little one on a ‘Jungle Gym’ floor mat with mirrors and other sensory toys around it.
2. Baby lies with tummy down on an adult’s tummy/chest while sleeping or playing
Lie on your back and put your baby on your bare tummy or chest. Say your baby’s name to encourage him to raise his head or to get a better look at you. Dr Vanessa von Auer, clinical psychologist at VA Psychology Center adds on that this is the most natural way to do tummy time and is comfortable for the baby.
3. Baby lies with tummy down or sideways across an adult’s arms while playing or being carried
You can move your baby into different positions, fast and slow, up and down, round and round…however he may like to move! Just make sure to stop for a few seconds every minute or so in order to allow his body to register the movements. There is no hard or fast rule how this may be conducted, the idea is to find the one that works best for your baby.
4. Baby lies with tummy down on exercise ball, beach ball, big pillow, or an adult’s shins
If your child has some neck strength and head control (by age three or four months) but cannot get up on his forearms, simply place the pillow under his chest and armpits, with his arms in front of it. (If he tends to roll forward, keep your hand on his bottom.) When he can get up on his forearms independently, remove the pillow and let him work on his motor skills without it. Some babies enjoy rolling on a big exercise ball. Hold him on it tummy-down while you gently rock the ball back and forth.
5. Baby lies with tummy down across an adult’s legs, with adult either sitting in a chair on the ground (leg position can vary)
Some mothers like doing this, especially in between watching short television programmes or when listening to music.
6. Baby lies with tummy down and upper chest positioned over a rolled-up towel on the floor with arms over the towel
As mentioned above, this is the classic position, which is good for preparing your baby to rock and roll.
7. Place a folded burp cloth under your baby’s chest
If your baby seems to be uncomfortable with a rolled-up towel positioned under his chest, try a folded burp cloth or muslin instead.
8. Stop when baby is upset
His tolerance for tummy time is likely to increase gradually with experience and a bit of coaxing. And many babies are more content on their tummy once they can roll over and it becomes a matter of choice.
9. Track tummy time goals and progress
Gradually increase until your baby is able to start turning over independently.
10. Read a book together
Whatever you can do to make tummy time interactive and interesting will help the baby remain in the position more comfortably.
Read this too!