Tummy time is an important tactic to help build head, neck, and upper body strength in a baby. Babies tend to spend a significant amount of time on their backs, putting them at risk for delaying their motor development and developing flat spots on the back of their skull. Without tummy time, your child may have trouble mastering skills like lifting his or her head or turning over. Moreover, it has the potential to negatively impact their ability to sit, walk, and crawl. So it is vital that you allot time out of your day to place your baby on their tummy, putting their weight on their forearms.
How do you go about incorporating tummy time into your day? Below we have a few of our therapists’ favorite ways:
An easy way to make tummy time fun is by arranging your baby’s toys in a circular pattern in front of them. It is even better if the toys have different textures and different sensory experiences for your child.
As most parents know, babies get a kick out of looking at their reflection in the mirror. This is actually a great way to initiate tummy time. Simply hold your baby over your lap and place a small mirror in front of them as a distraction.
If your child has a tough time participating in tummy time, don’t fret! You can help solve this by adding support. Try placing a bolster, rolled-up towel, or blanket right underneath their chest. This should make it easier for your baby to support their weight. However, it is important to make sure that it isn’t too close to their neck, or else they could have difficulty breathing.
You might be wondering when the best time to incorporate these tummy time strategies is. The answer is simple: anytime, anywhere. We recommend that you incorporate it into your daily routines, such as after a diaper change or after bath time. Remember, any sort of tummy time you do will be extremely beneficial. We like to say the only bad tummy time session is the one that didn’t happen.
For more on tummy time, check out our how-to video.
About NAPA Center
At NAPA Center, we take an individualized approach to therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. We embrace differences with an understanding that individualized programs work better. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike. If your child needs our services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customized program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.