Tummy time is a vital part of your baby’s development. Babies need time on their tummies to develop strong neck, back and shoulder muscles. It also helps them learn to push up, roll over, sit up and crawl.
But what if you have a baby who doesn’t like tummy time?
How do you make tummy time interesting and stimulating for your baby to encourage all that muscle development?
Here are 7 ideas you can incorporate into tummy time:
- Toys – place some favourite toys near your baby but just of out of reach so that your little one has to extend themselves to grab hold of the toy
- Rattles – Shake a rattle near your baby’s face. Not only will this encourage your baby to move his or head towards the sound but it could distract from the task at hand if your baby fusses and doesn’t enjoy being put on his or her tummy.
- Big balls – you can roll a ball slowly from side to side in front of your baby’s face. This will encourage lifting, moving and turning of the head.
- Books or magazines – get down on the floor with your baby with a colourful picture book or magazine. Turn the pages and talk about the pictures. This will keep your baby interested and also helps with eye strength development.
- Mirrors – place a non breakable mirror in front of your baby so that your little one can see their own reflection. Babies love this. It will hold their attention and also enhance head lifting and neck muscle development.
- Outside – If the weather is good, you can do tummy time outside. Take a blanket and place your baby on it. You can bring a toy or book or place the blanket near something else that may interest your baby. The natural sounds of the outdoors may hold their attention too i.e. birds chirping, wind blowing against leaves, other children playing.
- Singing and talking – babies love the sound of their mother’s (and fathers) voice. You could either lie in front of your baby and talk or sing or you could move around the room. This will also encourage neck muscle development as your baby will instinctively try moving their heads towards the sound of your voice.
These are just a few ideas but you can get get as creative as you wish with tummy time. The key points to remember are that whatever you do should be close enough to your baby to hold their attention but just out of reach to encourage muscle development.
Most importantly have fun and enjoy the time spent with your baby!
Written by: Monique Loewenthal
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