Tummy Time Tips for Infants
Raising six kids (with another on the way) has taught me a great deal about being a daddy. I’ve had to learn many things about parenting over the years, but today I want to talk about tummy time.
First things first, what is tummy time? Tummy time is the amount of time babies spend belly down. Research shows this position is extremely important for the development of the proper muscles babies need to push-up and crawl.
Since 1992, when the American Academy of Pediatrics announced their “Back to Sleep” campaign, parents have been placing babies on their backs to sleep in hopes of reducing the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The campaign was developed to educate and spread awareness about ways in which SIDS risks could be reduced.
It’s important that your baby still have plenty of tummy time opportunities while they’re awake during the day. I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and recommendations to make your tummy time experiences safe and enjoyable.
- Get the Gear: There are lots of mats and pillows that prop baby up that will help make tummy time more enjoyable and comfortable for your baby. Find a tool that works for you, and put it to use!
- Get on the Floor: As a daddy, one of my favorite activities has always been playing on the floor with my children. I highly recommend this as it allows you to see eye to eye and get in some extra bonding time during tummy time.
- Favorite Toys: Pay attention to which toys are your child’s favorite and place those toys in front of your baby while on the floor. This will encourage your baby to reach and push up – developing the muscles needed to crawl.
- Tune In: Tummy time is a good activity when your child is awake and alert. If your baby is tired or hungry, engage in tummy time at a later point in the day.
Tummy time should be safe and fun for you and your child. Remember every baby is different, and some might enjoy tummy time more than others. Be patient, and take each day as it comes, encouraging your baby to spend time on their bellies everyday. If you run into problems or concerns, it’s always a good idea to see your pediatrician.
Daddy Nickell, father of 6, founder of Daddyscrubs.com and the Daddyscrubs parenting blog