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Is Tummy Time Really That Important?

March 18, 2024

If you have a little one at home, you are all too familiar with the term tummy time. But do you know just how crucial it is for your baby’s development? In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of tummy time and share tips on how to turn this daily practice into a fun and effective core-strengthening activity for your little bundle of joy.

 

Why is Tummy Time Important?

Tummy time isn’t just a cute Instagram photo opportunity – it’s a cornerstone of your baby’s physical development. By placing your infant on their tummy, you’re not only preventing flat spots on the back of their head but also laying the foundation for crucial motor skills and core strength.

Building Strong Muscles:  Tummy time engages various muscle groups, especially those in the neck, shoulders, arms, and core. As your baby lifts their head and pushes up, they’re strengthening these muscles, which are essential for future milestones like crawling and sitting.

Developing Motor Skills:  The movements involved in tummy time help your baby develop coordination and refine their motor skills. This early exposure to different positions contributes to the development of a variety of movements, setting the stage for future activities.

Preventing Motor Delays: Research suggests that babies who engage in regular tummy time may experience fewer motor delays. By allowing your little one to explore various movements and sensations, you’re providing a solid foundation for their overall physical development.

 

Making Tummy Time Fun

Most babies start out hating tummy time.  This DOESN’T mean you should stop. Here are some practical tips to make tummy time an enjoyable experience for both you and your baby.

Start Early and Gradually Increase Time: Begin tummy time sessions when your baby is just a few days old, starting with short periods and gradually increasing as they grow more comfortable. This gradual approach helps build their tolerance and confidence.

Tummy to Tummy-tummy time can happen anywhere: A perfect way to bond with your baby is to sit in a reclined position and lay them on your chest or stomach.  Talk to them in an animated voice with lots of exaggerated facial expressions to encourage them to make eye contact with you.

Use Engaging Props: Place colorful toys, soft blankets, or a baby-safe mirror in front of your little one during tummy time. This not only captures their attention but also encourages them to reach and engage with the environment.

Make it a Family Affair: Join in on the fun! Get down on the floor with your baby during tummy time. Your smiling face and encouragement will make the experience more enjoyable and help strengthen your connection.  This is also a great way for older siblings to help.  Have them lay down on the floor in front of the baby and “entertain”.  The baby will be naturally drawn to looking at a sibling or parent.

 

Conclusion

Incorporating tummy time into your daily routine is a simple yet powerful way to support your baby’s physical development. By building core strength early on, you’re laying the groundwork for a lifetime of motor skills and milestones. So, get down on the floor, enjoy some quality time with your little one, and watch as they triumphantly conquer tummy time!

If you have questions about the importance of tummy time or would like to set up a free consultation call with one of our occupational therapists, call us at 402-413-1356.

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