It’s not easy to be a baby. Lying all day on your back, feeding, sleeping, soiling diapers, bathing, and that’s it. It can become boring for babies. Why not give them a little workout to make their day more interesting?
You must be wondering how little ones can have a workout session? Well, they can have one, even the doctors recommend it. That workout session is placing your child on his tummy for a few minutes daily.
Tummy time for a baby is not only to change his position, but it also gives other benefits to him. To understand what other benefits your baby can reap give the following paragraphs a read. It discusses how tummy time can promote the growth of your baby and help him to achieve the developmental milestone on time.
Benefits Of Tummy Time
1. Strengthens Key Muscles
Tummy time develops and strengthens neck, core, arm, and leg muscles. When a baby is placed on his tummy he will try to support himself and prevent falling. This strengthens his key muscles.
These muscles later help the baby to sit on their own, crawl, stand and walk. The earlier you start tummy time for the baby, the more his muscles will strengthen.
2. Prevents Flat Spots On Baby’s Head
When the baby spends most of his time on his back, it can lead to flat spots on the back of his head. By giving your baby tummy time regularly, the chances of developing flat spots become very less.
A severe case of flathead is known as plagiocephaly. If worsen, it can also distort the facial features of the baby.
3. Allows The Baby To Explore Their Environment
Placing the baby on his tummy allows him to explore their environment from a new perspective. They look at things differently when on their tummies.
4. Amazing Sensory Experience
Tummy time gives babies an amazing sensory experience. When the babies lie on their tummies it sends their brains the tactile information about where their palms, tummy, knees, and legs are placed.
There is only one problem with tummy time…babies are reluctant to lie on their tummies and throw a tantrum when made to do so.
But, don’t worry. You don’t have to go anywhere to search for tummy time tips. We have got you covered. We have curated a list of 12 simple ways to make tummy time more fun and enjoyable for the baby.
Keep scrolling to discover interesting tummy time activities for babies.
12 Simple Ways To Make Tummy Time More Fun & Enjoyable For Baby
1. Get Down On The Floor
Don’t expect the baby to have tummy time alone. He needs a workout buddy to stay in the same position you put him in. After you have placed them on a soft blanket, get down on the floor. This will allow them to see you without having to cock their heads.
Sit near them, talk to them, sing to them, read a book, etc. make it interesting for them. They would love to spend quality time with you.
You can even lie on your tummy for a few minutes with your baby. It’ll motivate the baby to imitate your position and get tummy time.
2. Start Slowly
Can a beginner run on a treadmill for one hour straight? Of course not, he’ll be needing practice…lots of it to run for an hour on a treadmill.
Tummy time is the same for your baby as a beginner running on the treadmill. Understand that it is a new position for him and it will take time for him to get used to it.
Don’t try to keep them on their tummy for too long. In the beginning, aim for a few seconds each day and then gradually increase their time. If in the beginning, you’ll keep them on their tummies for longer durations, then they will get fussy and will give you a tough time before and during tummy time.
3. Create An Interesting Wall
What will the baby do when he is lying on his tummy? He needs to keep himself busy…think mama, think.
To keep your little one engaged try to make the wall near which he is lying interesting. You don’t have to hire an interior designer to make the wall interesting. You can do it by yourself. Check out the following ways to do it.
a. Paste Black And White Patterns
This is beneficial for the developing eyes of newborns as they cannot detect the colors for the first three months of their lives, they can only see white, black, and gray.
Place black and white patterns in front of them. He will enjoy looking at those patterns for a few minutes while on his tummy. To make it more interesting, you can take a black and white print of a picture or scenery and let your baby explore it.
b. Prop Up Board Books
Get your hands on sturdy board books that can be supported against the wall. You can get a black and white board book, but if your baby has turned six months old, then you should get books that are colorful and have an interesting illustration.
Sit with them and have a storytelling session. Turn the page if your baby gets bored of seeing the same picture.
Place the prints and books at a distance of at least 12 inches from the baby so that he can see them comfortably and can focus on them.
4. Tummy Time On Your Chest
You don’t have to give tummy time on the floor every time. Why not make them lie on their favorite person?
This works like magic especially if your baby gets cranky during tummy time. Lie down your back and lie down your baby on your tummy. His tummy should be touching yours. Pat his back, talk to him, have a little concert with him.
Another way to do this is by making them lie on your lap. His tummy should be on your lap. Stroke his back, rock him gently, etc. If this make your baby sleepy then make him lie on his back. Tummy time should only happen when your baby is awake. Never give a sleeping baby tummy time.
5. Provide Extra Support
If you have just started tummy time for your baby, then he might feel afraid or have a problem balancing himself.
To make balancing easier for him, give him extra support while he is lying on his tummy. Roll a soft blanket and place it under their chest and armpits. It will allow him to focus only on his head movements and relax his shoulders and core muscles.
You can also use a soft towel if the blanket gets too warm for the baby.
6. Water Activities
Many effective tummy time activities for babies involve water. If done correctly, water activities are enjoyable for the little one and they enjoy their tummy time.
You can do water activities in the following ways:
a. Water Mats
Water mats are specially designed to make tummy time fun for babies. Water mats are filled with water and have interesting shapes and small toys floating inside them.
Your baby can comfortably lie on the water mat while playing with the floating shapes, or small fish.
b. Water Tray And Toys
If buying a water mat is out of your budget, then don’t worry. Your little one can still have water activities in his tummy time.
Simply fill a shallow tray and place some floating toys on it. Keep it at an appropriate distance where he can dip his hand and touch the toys.
Show him how to move his hand in the water and he will love to see his favorite toys bobbing along with the water. You can also use paper boats of different colors to make it more enjoyable, or floating fish or ducks of different colors.
7. Give A Mirror
If your baby is giving you a tough time during tummy time, and none of the above methods are working, then try this technique and your baby will love tummy time.
Babies love to look at different faces and explore their environment. They are familiar with the faces of their parents and other family members. However, they are not familiar with their face. Therefore, give them a mirror so that they can have a look at their cute angelic faces.
Once the baby will get busy admiring his features, he will forget about being fussy or giving you a hard time during tummy time.
Make sure that the mirror you give to the baby is safe, and not chipped from any sides. Furthermore, ensure that its sides are not sharp as it may harm the baby.
8. Set Some Toys
Tummy time for babies doesn’t have to be boring. Make it enjoyable for your little one. Merge playtime with tummy time to make it last longer.
Set your baby’s favorite toys on the mat where you have placed him on his tummy. Surround your baby with toys. It would work better if you keep the toys that light-up, squeak, or rattles.
Keeping toys will keep his senses engaged. Bright colors and designs will be good for his visual senses, rattling sound, etc. will keep his auditory sense busy, and if your baby can hold the toys, it will also involve his tactile senses.
To make it challenging for your baby, try to keep toys a little away from his reach. Let your little one come up with a strategy to get his hands on the toys placed farther from him.
Keeping toys during tummy time strengthens both muscles and the senses of the baby.
9. Get An Activity Gym
A workout session in the gym is more effective, isn’t it? Get an activity gym for your baby.
Its colorful designed mat and different toys hanging from the bars will transport your baby into his utopia. An activity gym will keep your baby busy for a long time. He will enjoy looking at bright colors and prints. The mobile toys will also encourage him to lift his head and hand to grab the toys.
Before purchasing the activity gym make sure to check the mobile toys if they are securely attached or not. If they are not attached properly then they might drop on the baby’s head or back.
10. Use A Yoga Ball
If your baby is tired of lying on the floor then get him a yoga ball for his tummy time. Inflate the ball and place your baby on his tummy, on the ball.
Make sure that you hold the baby with one hand, and with the other hand balance the ball. Gently roll the ball back and forth, or to and fro. Your baby will love the ride on the ball while getting his scheduled tummy time.
11. Prepare The Baby
Would you like to go for a run if you are sleepy or hungry? Of course not!
Think the same for your baby. If you want to face less trouble while giving tummy time to your baby, then make sure he is fresh for it.
He shouldn’t be hungry, dirty, or sleepy. Before tummy time, feed him, burp him, check his diaper, and ensure that he is well-rested.
If the baby is sleepy or hungry, he will not enjoy his tummy time.
12. Practice, Practice…And Practice
A baby needs 30-90 minutes of tummy time daily. But, don’t try to hit that number in a day. Start with a few seconds and then gradually increase the time. Let your baby get habitual of staying on his tummy and then you can have a tummy time of 30-90 minutes every day.
Don’t give up if your baby cries or gives you a difficult time. Keep on practicing and you will be successful in giving proper tummy time to your child.
Tummy time has immense benefits for your little munchkin. It strengthens his arms, shoulder, back, and legs. It helps the baby to learn to crawl and walk quickly and easily.
It also helps to prevent flat head spots that can deter the development of facial features.
Use any of the above-listed tummy time tips to make the tummy time fun and enjoyable for your tiny one.