Eat, sleep, repeat; the sweet life of our little cubs! During the first few months of their lives, our little ones are mostly lying on their back as they sleep or feed throughout the day. However, prolonged periods of time lying on their back can lead to complications such as flat spots (phagiocephaly) and delayed gross motor development as they have less opportunity to use their upper bodies! 👶
Thus we have the magic of tummy time. ✨
Besides preventing positional conditions, tummy time allows our little ones to strengthen important neck, back and core muscles that form the building blocks of other gross motor milestones. TT also promotes visual motor and sensory development as your little explorer lifts their head and scans their environment around them. 👀
You might ask, when should you start tummy time with your little Cub?
According to research, TT should start when your baby is a newborn. Here are 3 ways to perform tummy time;
1) Start by placing your little one, belly-down on your chest or across your lap. Be in their direct line of sight and interact with them. Aim for 20 minutes a day broken into 2-3 minute intervals.
2) Alternatively use a nursing cushion, or rolled up blanket preferably at a 45 angle with your babies hands over the cushion or blanket. As time goes on, use smaller props.
3) Eventually, your little one should progress to laying on the floor without support! Use toys or mirrors to stimulate them during this time.
Ideally, tummy time should be done when your bub is most alert and awake (after a nappy change or nap). By 3 months your little one should work up to an hour of tummy time daily. ⏰
Whilst you may have known that tummy time should start the moment you’re home from hospital, did you know that the benefits extend long into childhood! Except we then refer to it as a prone position and use it to treat problems such as low tone, poor core strength, shoulder instability and sensory issues amongst other things. 💪🏼
Gym time for babies may look a little different from our adult version but the benefits are just as profound! 💙