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How to make tummy time fun for baby and for mom and dad

Welcoming a new bundle of joy into the world comes with its fair share of challenges, and one of them is finding ways to keep your little one strong and to help them develop correctly. Enter tummy time – the ultimate baby exercise that can strengthen their muscles and improve their motor skills. But let’s be honest: it can also lead to tears and tantrums (from both you and your baby!). So how do you make tummy time fun for everyone involved? Read on as we explore some tips and tricks that will have your baby giggling in no time!

What is tummy time ?

Tummy time is when you place your baby on their stomach(at this stage they will resemble an upside down beetle), whilst they are awake and supervised. This is an important part of your baby’s development as it helps them to build strength in their neck and back muscles, and learn to rollover, crawl and sit up.

Some babies hate tummy time at first, but there are ways to make it more fun for both baby and parents!

The key is to keep tummy time short at first, gradually increasing the amount of time as baby gets stronger. And most importantly, don’t get discouraged – even a few minutes of tummy time each day will make a big difference in your baby’s development!

What are the benefits?

It strengthens baby’s muscles
Tummy time helps baby develop the muscles in their back, neck, and shoulders – all of which are important for sitting up, crawling, and walking.

It prevents flat head syndrome
When babies spend too much time on their backs (in cribs, car seats, etc.), they can develop flat head syndrome medically referred to as plagiocephaly. Tummy time helps prevent this by giving baby’s head a chance to rest in a different position.

It promotes healthy development of the hips and spine
When your baby is  on their tummy, she has to use her arms and legs to move around, which helps her develop strength and balance in those areas.

There are plenty of benefits for parents too.
Tummy time can help you bond with your baby, and it’s a great opportunity for some quality one-on-one time and offers a fun and interactive way to play with your baby.

How to encourage tummy time

 Here are a few ways to make tummy time more fun for everyone involved:

  1. Put on some music: Music is a great way to encourage your baby to stay in one place. If they start to get fussy, try singing along with the music or clapping your hands to the beat.
  2. Get down on their level: Get down on the floor with your baby so that you’re at their eye level. This will help them feel more comfortable and less alone.
  3. Place a plastic mirror in front of them to help them start to become aware of their being and stimulate their  attention to items around them .
  4. Use toys: Place a few of your baby’s favourite toys just out of reach so that they have something to focus on while they’re on their tummies.
  5. Give them a massage: Who doesn’t love a good massage? Gently massage your baby’s back while they’re doing tummy time. This will help them relax and maybe even fall asleep!
  6. Talk to them: Encourage your baby with words of affirmation while they’re doing tummy time. Hearing your voice will help them feel safe and secure.

How mom and dad can get involved too

 Here are some ways that mom and dad can get involved and make tummy time fun for everyone:

  1. Take turns giving tummy time. If one parent is getting tired, the other can take over. This way everyone gets a break and baby gets the stimulation they need.
  2. Make it a game! See how long baby can stay on their tummy, or who can make the funniest face at each other. Tummy time doesn’t have to be serious all the time – have some fun with it!
  3. Sing songs and read stories to baby while they’re on their tummy. This helps them practice their language skills while still engaging in tummy time.
  4. Use props like a pillow or bolster to help support baby during tummy time. This can make it more comfortable for them and help keep their attention longer.
  5. Whilst mom or dad is lying on the floor place baby on your tummy area so that you tummies are touching and place both hands on your babies back to prevent them from falling off your tummy. Many a baby has fallen asleep in this comfortable and secure beneficial position.
  6. Have a designated spot for tummy time, like a playmat with interesting toys or bright colours that baby can look at. It also creates a sense of anticipation and routine for them knowing that “the mat” or “the spot” means tummy time.

 

Conclusion

With a little patience and creativity, tummy time can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your baby!

With the right toys and some creative ideas, tummy time can be a great way to bond with your baby while helping them lead healthier lives. Have fun!

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