Spending a bit of time face-down during the day is important for babies' development - but they don't always like it! Here's how to help your little one learn to love 'tummy time.'
Did you know that 10 to 20 minutes of tummy time a day is a very good thing for your baby? Once your baby has some head control, getting regular tummy time will help make it easier for your little one learn to roll over, sit up and crawl.
Be aware, though, that babies who have spent most of their young lives on their backs may not be overly enthused about this new position at first. Here are a few ways to help them learn to love tummy time:
- Start with shorter periods - maybe just two or three minutes a day at first.
- Getting down on the floor with your baby and talking or singing does the trick for some babies.
- If your baby just doesn't like being face-down on the floor, try lying down on your back with your baby on your chest, so you can talk to each other (the original version of face-time!)
- Laying your baby on a colourful play mat will provide some interesting things to look at; in a while, when your baby has a bit more upper-body strength, adding a few age-appropriate toys will entice your baby to reach for and play with them.
- Propping your baby's chest up with a pillow can help at first, when it's hard work to get that head off the ground.
A few things to remember about tummy time
Tummy time is just for when your baby is awake; at this age, it's important to always put your little one to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Tummy time can start when your baby is about two months old and has a bit of head control. Before that age, it's okay to lay your baby tummy-side-down for short periods, as long as you're there to supervise. If your baby can't lift or move their head much, then it's advisable to hold off on longer periods of tummy time for a few more weeks.