There is no written manual to tell you how to be a Top-Mom. The good news is that there is a lot of advice online about the things you can do for the well-being of your baby. You need to pay attention to the sources of everything you read, though. Not everything is good advice. The topic we are treating today, however, is undoubtedly one that has been fairly discussed in the medical community.
The topic in question is about why is tummy time essential for your baby. Tummy time is as necessary as a breastfeeding meal plan or your newborn sleep schedule. Before a baby begins to crawl and walk, they need to learn how to roll over, sit up, lift their heads and necks, and other physical feats. You, as the mom, will be able to predict all of his/her moves by engaging in the regular practice of tummy time.
Why is Tummy Time Important?
You raise your kids with the best intentions to keep them in good health. Mobility is a crucial factor in developing a healthy body. Like most living beings, kids need to move around a little as the day goes by. A baby certainly has very little mobility, but you can help them in the development of this trait by making them change positions as they lie in their cradles. If your baby favors one side of the head, he/she is risking a flattened head. The best way to prevent flat spots on a baby’s head is to take him out of the seat and hold him for a while.
Ultimately tummy time is crucial because it provides physical movement to the kid. He will struggle a little to keep his/her head up, and you will notice his arms and legs are lively as he tries to balance himself. He will eventually earn to do so with a little guidance on your end. You can also plan the activity using tummy time milestones. Try your best to avoid outdated information regarding preventing sudden infant death syndrome. Most of it will focus on keeping your baby facing up all the time. We encourage you to look up for updated information. Having your baby on such a steady position can prevent SIDS, but you will find yourself wondering, “why my baby’s head is flat on one side?”
What is Tummy Time?
Tummy time is a physical activity that involves placing your baby on his belly while awake. The baby should be supervised at all times, and parents should avoid the position when the infant is sleepy or tired. The amount of time that has to be spent on tummy time is determined by how energetic the baby is. Medical professionals recommend tummy time on the chest to help babies get their bearings on gravity and their own weight. Some of the most fantastic tummy time milestones are that the baby can improve neck strength, strengthen arms, shoulders, and belly. It’s a physical reinforcement that can help them in future endeavors such as sitting on his/her own, rolling on the sides, push torso up, and crawling on the floor. You can have tummy time on a baby blanket, or in a baby’s development play mats.
Do Babies Really Need Tummy Time?
Of course, they do! As we already mentioned, tummy time is essential because it offers quite several benefits to the physical condition of the baby. On top of the developments we previously mentioned, some other benefits of tummy time are that babies get the chance to move side-to-side. This is a great physical activity that can help them with their coordination, as well as their balance and the control they have over their posture. It can also correct their position if the baby favors one side of the head. When babies learn new motor skills and get their own perspectives, they become confident and curious. It will lead to an increasing need for a movement that will necessarily translate to exploration as they try to crawl for the first time.
What Age Should You Start Tummy Time?
Tummy time is one of those practices that can be encouraged since the day the baby is born. It is also the best to go about it to help the baby learn the concept of effort and grasping its new reality. The sooner you begin, the more natural it will feel for the baby to accept the position. If you are terrified of having newborn tummy time laying in a blanket on the bed at such an early stage, you can always try tummy time on the chest or your belly.
The best to get about it for the first time feels a lot like a warm embracement. You only have to lie down on your back and place the babies on the stomach facing down on top of your belly. Make sure to put a pillow on top of your head and speak softly to the child. You will notice that the baby answers to your voice, and his head will tilt a little as he/she searches for your voice. It’s one of the best ways to bond with your newborn while helping him/her to understand how their bodies work.
Does Tummy Time Help with Gas?
It doesn’t. If anything, tummy time can make passing gas a bit more uncomfortable for your child. If your baby just finished eating, try to avoid this position. It will make them irritable due to the pressure experienced on their abdomen by their own weight. Be especially mindful if your baby is prone to have colic or acid refluxes. We don’t need to remind you that a baby has a set of unique needs in their early days. The best moment to practice tummy time is when the baby is waking up after a bath, even after a clothes change. Don’t go for tummy time on their sleeping hours or when they wake up in the middle of the night.
Tummy Time Recommendations
Follow these tummy time tips to get the best out of it with your baby:
Practice the Technique as Early as Possible
We already mentioned that tummy time is something that can be done the same day a baby is born. The belly-to-belly experience is a great way to get started, and it makes for a beautiful experience. Your baby gets to experience his surroundings uniquely at the early stages of his life.
Make Tummy Time a Time for Bonding
Tummy time is essential because it is an excellent way for babies to grasp with their limited senses the physical features of their parents. Either mom or dad can have tummy time using their bellies. It’s a great moment to sing to the baby. Talking to the baby will help them get familiar with the voices of their parents. It’s also a great moment to make eye contact and help the baby get familiar with the scent and wart of their parents.
Your Family can Help you
We already mentioned dad, but if the baby has brothers and sisters, they can also help out with this practice too. Let them know why tummy time is necessary. Once the baby moves to have tummy time on the floor, they can lie beside him/her and take care of them for the duration. It’s a great way to create bonds with them too.
Get on Their Level
Babies will have a better experience during tummy time if they are sharing the moment with a loved one. But it doesn’t work if you place the baby on a blanket while you handle chores. Take a little time and lie down with him/her. Make sure to do something to keep the baby active and interested. Taking a toy or singing a song will do the trick.
It's a Great Chance to Introduce Textures
Once your baby has a sturdier composition, you can place them on mats, soft blankets, or sheepskin rugs. All of these elements are sure to provide exciting stimulation to their sense of touch, something that babies do look forward to a lot.
Stimulate the Senses of the Baby
As your newborn experiences new sensations with their touch, they can also get a handful of experiences using their other senses. Add colorful textures, toys, and music to make the experience more pleasant and productive to the baby’s senses.
Take your Time
A lot of babies don’t like to be on their tummies for long periods. They need to get used to it, but you also need to make the experience pleasant to them. If a baby hates tummy time, the parents need to find something to their liking to keep their attention during tummy time. This is a trial and error procedure because the things that hold the attention of babies change a lot.
Timing is everything
We have already mentioned the need to find the best opening for tummy time. If you schedule the activities of your baby, you can easily fit in the amount of time the child will get each day. If you are going by the demands of the baby as most parents do with their firstborns, remember to avoid tummy time if your baby is sleepy. Remember that the best moments are a change of clothes or a change of diaper.
Don't Get Stressed
There is no written rule on the tummy time method. Such as when your baby won’t take pacifier anymore, you may be doing everything the way you are supposed to. Some babies don’t like to be on their tummies. There is no big issue with this since these babies will also grow to do the same things as other kids of their age. It may take a little more than usual, but your child won’t have any handicap for avoiding tummy time.
Our Thoughts About Tummy Time
Babies will always do things that are natural their development regardless of the practices of their parents. It is tummy time vital because it can help babies to develop quite a few physical traits? Absolutely, but it’s not a dealbreaker when it comes to the overall development of their skills. A lot of parents get freaked out by the idea of their babies being unable to accomplish tummy time. As we already mentioned, some babies don’t like it, and that’s ok.
The sensory experiences of babies are not limited to tummy time, but they certainly are enhanced by it because they have to struggle to grasp their senses and perceptions. Tummy time is a tool for development, one that is closely related to many physical benefits. As with other practices for infants, tummy time is not meant to be abused, mainly because it can create a lot of strain and fatigue for extended periods.
Most important above, everything else is the fact that tummy time is a great way to share a loving moment with a baby and feel like a top-mom. It’s one of those special moments when we can offer encouragement to our kids and root for their efforts at a very young age. They also get their first notions of reward for putting on an effort to achieve something. They also get a chance to exercise, something that not many babies get to do in their early days.