Every pediatrician and baby book will tell you how important tummy time is for your baby. At times, you may feel like you are torturing your little baby because it is HARD work for them, but it is very important for your baby’s development. After three babies, here are some tummy time tips that worked for my own babies. As always, check in with your pediatrician for advice if your baby is having trouble with tummy time because all baby’s are different!
Pick the right surface. Most people know you need something cushy under baby during tummy time. That head is heavy and baby’s going to lose control without warning. But piling up soft, slippery blankets is not the way to go. You need something that won’t slip under baby that also provides a cushion. We absolutely love our memory foam play mat from Ruggish, Co. It’s soft enough that it supports bumps and falls, but it also provides enough resistance that baby’s hands aren’t slipping out from under her—a must if you have hardwood floors. The surface always remains smooth so baby has clear breathing room when moving her head from side to side and up and down. Plus, the play mat will continue to be great for learning to sit, crawl, stand and walk, not to mention it looks great in my living room.
Get down on the floor with baby. Honestly nothing worked better with my third baby than having her big brothers nearby. What’s more inspiring than trying to keep up with the big kids? Don’t worry, mom or dad works, too. Get right down there and talk to baby. Hint: If you are trying to get baby to turn her head, move to the other side and talk over there. She will likely lift and turn her head to find your voice. Bonus: The memory foam play mat (above) will keep you comfy longer too!
Selfies! We all know how babies love to look at themselves in mirrors, but those toy mirrors don’t always give the best reflection. I found flipping my phone’s camera to selfie mode and letting baby see herself got her attention and kept her doing that hard work a little bit longer. Don’t forget to snap some pics while you are down there—you’ll get some pretty funny ones. Obviously, phones don’t make good chew toys, so keep the phone in your own hands at all times.
Toys. Not all toys are created equal when it comes to tummy time. I always found musical toys kept my tiny babies happiest. Add in some subtle lights to grab baby’s attention.
Shorter Sessions More Often. The littlest of babies don’t have much stamina, so keep those tummy time sessions short and sprinkled throughout the day. As baby gets older, she’ll be happy there longer and longer.
Believe it or not, tummy time will end up being your baby’s preferred position for playing before she is able to sit up, so stick with it now so baby can get to the good stuff later.
A sample of the play mat was received. All opinions are my own.
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