When ever I post on my Instagram stories that Henry is having ‘tummy time’ I get an influx of messages asking me what it is & how I do it.. so here goes!
PS I am not a tummy time expert.. just a new mum trying to do my best for my 4 month old baby!!
“Tummy Time” is exactly what it says on the tin.. it’s the time that babies spend on their tummies & it’s essential given that they sleep for the majority of their time on their back (to reduce the risk of SIDS).
Tummy time helps babies to strengthen their neck & arm muscles which will ultimately help them to roll over (which Henry has just started doing at 4 months old front to back!), sit up & crawl.
You can start tummy time from the moment they are born by laying your baby on your chest whilst you’re laid down. You can then progress this to time on a play mat or soft blanket on the floor. Make sure they’re alert rather than tired and not too hungry or full (no-one likes mopping up sick!).
Little and often is best when it comes to tummy time. Be guided by your baby; if they get distressed then pick them up so they don’t associate being on their front with being upset. Get down onto the floor with your baby and pop some toys in front of them to make it fun. To help your baby you could pop a curved pillow or rolled up towel under their chest with their arms over the top to prop them up a little.
Henry hated tummy time initially & he would literally face palm the blanket.. but he’s now able to hold his head up high like a little tortoise & even roll from front to back (although my mum thinks it’s an unintentional ‘fall over’ rather than a ‘roll over’ .. hopefully he’ll be strong enough to roll from back to front next!
We now do tummy time 1-3 times a day on his play mat or play gym and make sure to pop something interesting in front of him to concentrate on. When he starts to get fussy we pick him up.
How do you do tummy time?