Tummy time is a great way to help your child develop strength and important motor skills early and quickly in life. They can have fun and enjoy spending time with you doing fun things or playing with silly toys. However, it’s not always easy as a parent to stay on top of tummy time or to even prioritize tummy time sessions into your everyday schedule. We know it’s easy to get off track, so that’s why we’re here to help! In today’s blog we’re going to explore some ways in which you and your child can get the most out of tummy time so you both can develop excellent habits that will have lasting impacts for years to come.
The Trick Is That There Is No “Trick”
Tummy time doesn’t need to be an elaborate affair. There’s not necessarily a magic one-size-fits-all approach. You see, tummy time is a lot like pizza. Even “bad” pizza is still better than no pizza at all. Doing tummy time, even if it is not the “optimal” setup and technique is so much better than not doing it at all. It doesn’t take a lot. Babies are interested in many common household items like measuring cups, cardboard boxes, wooden spoons, balls. Just get your baby on the floor in a safe zone, with a few safe toys and let them be!
Tummy Time Tips
If you’re feeling a little less energetic than you were before the baby came (now why would that be…?) then you can do a modified tummy time where you lie on your back (either on the couch or in bed or on the ground) and you can put the child on your chest for the tummy time session. This is best in the 0-4 week age range.
Here are a few other things you can try to spice up your tummy time sessions:
- Put toys or even baby-safe books off to the side of the baby, just out of reach to help them work on improving their range of motion, for instance if there is tightness on one side of the baby’s neck. This can help alleviate that stiffness and discomfort.
- Teach your baby a song! Tummy time is a great time to start reading to and singing to your baby. Teach them your favorite kid-friendly songs and nursery rhymes.
- Place a mirror in front of your baby during tummy time and show them the different parts of their face and body. They will get a kick out of it!
- Do tummy time in the dark. Dim the lights and put on some soft music and get out a few flashlights or lamps and have fun in different light levels with your baby.
- Put some finger paint in a ziplock bag and tape the bag to the floor in front of your baby as they are propped up on a towel or pillow. They will have fun squishing the paint and making different colors and patterns and no mess to clean up!
- Put some water and a few drops of food coloring in a water bottle and have them play with it during a session. Make sure the lid’s on tight! They will love the sounds of the crinkling plastic and the splashing of the colored water.
Favorite Tummy Time Toys
- Tummy Time Water Mat (great for ages 2+ months)
- Crawl Along Rolling Toy (great for nearing crawling stage)
Tummy Time Goals For Length
Try to hit the higher time amount as your baby gets closer to the maximum age.
0-4 weeks: 3-10 minutes 2x per day (umbilical cord should be off before doing active tt).
4-12 weeks: 5-15 minutes 3x per day
12-16 weeks: 15-30 minutes 4x per day
16+ weeks: 50% of awake period, every awake session. This will depend greatly on your baby’s age.
Before You Go
Figuring out the ins and outs of tummy time can be difficult, but there are definitely things you can do to make it easier. We are happy to help. Just contact us and we can go over your options. We hope these tips have helped you along your journey. If you have any questions about helping your baby to sleep better, or about your baby in general, please reach out to us HERE. We are experts in all things baby and sleep and would love to help!
If you have questions about your child, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help. Please reach out to us here! We always look forward to hearing from you.