Wherever we go, be it baby classes, clinic, to friend’s houses there’s one thing everyone seems to be talking about and that’s tummy time! I’ll admit, to begin with I hardly ever placed Florence on her tummy, she wasn’t keen and I was nervous around it but over the last couple of weeks we’ve really upped our game and Florence is enjoying being on her belly a lot more. I’ve put together a list of top tummy time tips that have worked for us!
You’re already doing it!
Believe it or not, you’re more than likely already doing Tummy Time with your baby without even realising it. Every time you place your baby over your shoulder or lap to wind her, you’re encouraging her to use those important neck and core muscles. When Florence was just two days old, as we were waiting to come home from the hospital she was moving her head back and forth (while being supported of course!) and pushing off of my chest while I was cuddling her. So much so that she reminded me of a little mini headbanger! Baby wearing also counts as tummy time, so any time you’re out & about with your baby in her carrier or sling you’re getting a good healthy spot of Tummy Time. Both are gentle introductions to Tummy Time that you don’t really even have to think about!
Place baby at eye level
This really helped us in our early of Tummy Time days & still does if Florence is a bit reluctant. Place baby on the sofa or the bed and sit on the floor in front of her. I tend to chat or sing and it helps to get her attention. Baby’s love checking out their Mama’s face so offering her that eye contact while you play will encourage her to look up and build that neck strength!
Try a variety of different props
Florence isn’t keen on doing Tummy time activities on a flat surface and so we turn to a few different things to help elevate her. Our number one Tummy Time aid is our Poddle Pod, but we also use a variety of ordinary cushions, my pregnancy pillow, a nursing pillow & the edges of her play mat!
Create a distraction!
One of the best ways we’ve found to prolong Tummy Time is to create a distraction! Florence is the best she is at Tummy Time when there are other babies to watch at our Sensory Play class, but there are plenty more ways you can distract your baby from the fact they are on their tummy. Placing a pattern in their view, singing songs and chatting to them and rolling a noisey or reflective toy are all fail safes for us!
Incorporate tummy time into your day to day
Tummy Time will come more naturally to you and your baby if you incorporate it into your daily routine. For example, Florence loves to look at herself in the mirror while I’m doing my make up so I pop a pillow in front of the mirror and prop her up on her belly so she can chat away to herself. I’m just next to her so I can keep an eye and yet I can still get on with what I need to do too! We do this at roughly the same time every day and now hardly think anything of it at all! It’s just become habit.
Pick your moments
Like most things with babies, you have to pick your moments when it comes to Tummy Time practice! Choose a time in the day when your baby is at her happiest and most awake to get in some all important belly down play. This way she’ll be less likely to get worn out quickly or get grizzly after only a few seconds. Another thing to think about is how long you’re doing it for – short and sharp bursts are all your baby needs to get started with tummy time and as time goes on and baby gets happier on her belly you can increase the time more and more. At three months Florence now does the majority of her play on her tummy!