Tummy time is important for your baby’s development. It helps baby learn how to sit up, roll over, crawl, and eventually stand. It’s never to early to start tummy time. Since your baby sleeps on his back (and he should!), he’s most comfortable in that position. He may be fussy at first because he’s not used to it, but as he gains neck, back, arm, and leg strength, he will start loving the freedom. You can make tummy easier with these tips.
1. Join baby on the floor.
Baby will feel better during tummy time if he knows that mommy is right there with him. You can lie down opposite from baby on your stomach so you can look at him face-to-face. Baby doesn’t have to make too much of an effort to look at mom and you can make funny faces, play peekaboo, or even sing to him to keep him entertained.
2. Use a soft, padded play mat.
Tummy time is a lot more comfortable for babies when you have something super soft and cozy for them to lie on. Use a padded play mat for babies that is made with 100% cotton so your baby is as comfortable as possible. Pick up a mat that can be folded up and secured with a Velcro strap so it is transportable and one side always stays clean for baby to lie on.
3. Prop him up.
Take a rolled up towel or a small nursing pillow and place it under his chest and arms. This will keep him propped up but if he begins rolling forward then place your hand on his bottom. Then you can place a mirror in front of baby so he can look at himself and start interacting. Once baby is able to get up on his forearms by himself you can get rid of the towel or pillow.
4. Place baby on an exercise ball or your shins.
If you put baby tummy down on an exercise ball and gently roll him back and forth, this will make tummy time more enjoyable. You can also change the angle at which baby is placed on the ball which will make it more comfortable or more challenging for baby. You can also lie on your back and bend your knees as you place baby on your shins and raise him up and down slowly until he gets used to the motion.
5. Start slow.
It will take time for baby to adjust to tummy time so it’s best to start slow, especially if baby is very fussy. It’s recommended that babies have 30 minutes of tummy time a day but when your baby is first starting out, aim for increments of one or two minutes a day, a couple of times day. Increase the minutes each week until eventually baby reaches 30 minutes a day. Remember that it doesn’t have to be 30 minutes in one sitting but can be done in several sessions a day.
Guest blog by Jennifer Jacobellis, founder of Baby J
Jennifer Jacobellis started Baby J when her son was just a few months old. She ventured out to mommy and me classes and play groups, armed with just a blanket for him to lie on. After class, she would fold up her blanket and stick it in the diaper bag, knowing that when she got home it would have to go straight into the laundry basket. There had to be a better way!
One day she decided it was time to solve this problem. She ran to the fabric store and began tinkering. She designed this baby play mat with her germ-a-phobe tendencies in mind, as well as being soft, baby friendly, and chic. The Baby J play mat was born!
For more information, visit www.babyj.com
Written by Kim Webb, CEO and Founder of Rockin’ Green Soap
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