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Not all babies love tummy time. Some fuss and even cry as soon as you start them and others are happy to hang out, smiling and cooing during the exercises. Either way, tummy time is important for your baby to do every day. It helps your baby develop their neck and shoulder muscles and it can also prevent the back of their head from becoming flat. It will also help them develop the gross motor skills they need in order to roll over, crawl and other developmental leaps. While it’s important to do, remember that it should only be done when your baby is awake and alert and fed so he is not cranky. Here are 8 ways to make tummy time better for your baby.
1. Wait until your baby is fed and happy
Don’t try to have tummy time when your baby is cranky because he is tired or hungry. Wait until your baby has had a nap and has been fed before you try tummy time. There will be a much better chance of them enjoying it this way.
2. Little by little
Your newborn may not be able to handle 5 minutes of tummy time right away. Try setting them down and if they last even one minute, call it a win. Do it a little at a time and often, and increase the time as they get older. It’s the total amount of time that counts overall. Babies should have between 15-20 minutes of tummy time a day.
3. Get down with them
Your baby is more likely to lift his head and not fuss if they can see and hear you. Get in front of your baby and talk to him and look at him so that he will try to look at you. Babies like to look at faces, especially his mommy and daddy’s faces!
4. Keep your baby entertained
Give him a toy or a book. Sing him songs, tell him stories and make funny faces. Anything that turns the exercise into a game will make it more pleasurable for your baby. This will keep him occupied and help extend the length of tummy time.
5. Use mirrors
Babies love seeing their reflection in the mirror. As your baby gets older and becomes more aware of his surroundings, try putting a mirror in front of him so he can see himself while you are having tummy time.
6. Give your baby a boost
Sometimes babies don’t like tummy time because they are not able to lift their head and don’t like their face touching the floor. Try placing a small pillow under their chest and arms to give them a little boost.
7. Use yourself as a surface
You don’t always have to use a mat for tummy time. You can also place him on your own belly or your knees. Being so close to you will help your baby feel reassured.
8. Do different exercises
Try to vary what you do with your baby during tummy time so your baby doesn’t get bored or impatient.
Do you have any tummy time tips?
Hello, I’m Kelly, a regular contributor on this blog. I live in Pennsylvania with my loving husband and our five beautiful children. I have a background in early childhood education, but I am currently homeschooling my kids. From pregnancy to postpartum to toddler life, I love sharing advice with other moms who are having a challenging time with this crazy but wonderful role of motherhood.
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