Tummy Time

Neither of my babies loved tummy time at first so we had to make it fun for them. Starting out, the best tummy time was spent lying on mom or dad’s chest. We would lie down on the ground and put the baby on our chest to just enjoy each other; this is especially a great way for dad to spend time with baby. Once our kids would tolerate tummy time on our chest, we would then move to laying next to our baby and talking to them. With our second we let big sister interact with the baby on the floor; she could really keep his attention and happy for longer periods of time. This is easy and a great way to bond with your newborn.Tummy Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests beginning tummy time the first day home from the hospital. They suggest doing this two to three times each day for three to five minutes each time, increasing the amount of time as the baby shows they enjoy the activity. Tummy time strengthens the baby’s muscles and prepares them for crawling. Keep in mind that tummy time should always be performed under adult supervision.

Soon we would introduce a toy during tummy time. This is for a slightly older baby who may start reaching. First you can put the toy well within reach and then move the toy slightly further out so they can try to reach further to get the toy.

Another tummy time option we used with my first, but not our second was tummy time on the Boppy. Today Boppy has a product specifically designed for tummy time, the Boppy Tummy Time. This pillow looks like it would help keep baby propped in a more comfortable position and includes toys. Baby sit-ups are another option for babies who hate tummy time. To do a baby sit-up, lie baby down on her back, let her grasp your hands, and slowly raise her to sitting slow and steady, making sure her head stays in line with her neck. When baby has had time to hang out a bit, slowly lower back down to a resting position. Repeat a few times each day.

Relax and don’t stress over tummy time! If your baby does it for the recommended time that is awesome, but if you cannot seem to get the recommended time in each day they will be fine. All kids are different and don’t stress out because your friend’s baby who is the same age as yours is more advanced in their tummy time skills. Do what works for you and enjoy every stage!

Kristen Beggs in a cloth-diapering mom of two who lives and writes in Midland, TX.

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