Babies are a bundle of joy and parents love playing with their little ones. Playing is not just for fun but it is also an important factor for the baby’s development. While playing and interaction helps in bonding, it also gives a lot of learning experiences for both the baby and the parents. You, as a parent can provide your baby with many learning opportunities through play.
One such important part of baby play and activity is the baby tummy time. Tummy time is any time of the day, during which the baby is allowed to lie on the stomach with the back facing upwards. There are various activities that you can play while your baby lies in this position. With the proven health benefits and advantages this special time is a must for every baby and you can add your creativity to it. You can initially start with at least once a day for some time and gradually increase once your baby is a few months old.
Benefits of tummy time
Child care specialists too suggest that a specific period should be spent by the baby lying on the stomach, which will help in development and provide medical benefits.
- Lying on the tummy allows the baby to try holding the neck above ground and slowly raise the chest with the help of arms.
- Helps in building up muscles in the neck, back, arms and hands. This will build strong grounds for the physical activities like rolling, sitting, crawling that will soon follow.
- Being able to hold the neck and raise the chest reduces the risk of smothering as the baby can move when at risk.
- As the baby spends time on the stomach it also helps to exercise the stomach muscles and can help in preventing or reducing abdominal colic and distension.
- With the new position the baby gets a different view to enjoy, which helps in providing sensory stimulation and gives better understanding of the objects around.
You can help
You can help by specifying a separate time as tummy time so that the routine is also predictable for the baby. You can play with toys that make sounds or have flashing light to catch you baby’s attention. Give opportunities so that baby can make attempt to raise the neck and look at the object, sound or your voice and slowly also try to reach for them.
Make sure tummy time is well in between the feeds so as to avoid any spit ups. It is important that your baby never sleeps for the night on the tummy as it can be dangerous.