So….you and your little one have been practicing, but he/she is still not keen on lying on their tummy. So how can you make both your lives a little easier? There are some great little hints and tricks for Tummy Time and I will share them with you now…
Get down to the Floor!
It may seem simple and even a little obvious to say, but get yourself down to the floor. Babies love seeing faces, especially familiar ones like Mum or Dad. Get down onto the floor so baby can see you when they are on their tummy. This often helps to settle them if they are unsure of this position and you can also entertain and distract them for short periods so that they tolerate longer Tummy Time. It’s also a great chance to bond with your baby face to face.
Rolled Up Towel/Blanket
If you roll up a small towel or blanket and place this under your baby’s chest, it will give them a little help to lift their head and clear the floor. Often babies don’t like not being able to move their head away from the floor, so this should help. It can also help if your baby suffers from reflux or colic. Taking a little pressure off that upper chest area can be more comfortable for baby.
I absolutely LOVE the prone water mats that are out there. The one I use at Therapy Stars for some of my clients is full of water with floating fish. It gives your baby something to entertain them, and also provides a different texture and surface for them to practice Tummy Time on. You can still use this with or without a roll under the chest, depending on what your little one will tolerate.
Lamaze Spin & Explore Baby Gym
Now…as a Physiotherapist I would always argue that Tummy Time is far better achieved without gadgets or container toys. BUT…..this Lamaze Spin and Explore Baby Gym can be great for short periods of time. It can be particularly useful for those who have babies who just do NOT like or tolerate Tummy Time in any other format! It also helps baby to learn about movement and strengthen their head, shoulders and back whilst making it all slightly easier.
However….I would always suggest that these are used for no more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Plus….Tummy Time should always be attempted and encouraged without this too. So in a nutshell….this can be great as an addition to your Tummy Time play, but should not be used as a complete alternative.
Be Creative–It Still Counts!
Finally, I just wanted to remind you that Tummy Time does NOT have to always be in the traditional position of baby on the mat on the floor. Tummy Time can be with baby on your tummy, so you are face to face. Baby can be carried across your arm on their tummy (as long as their head is supported as needed depending on their age). This all counts towards their Tummy Time practice. You may also find a position that your little one will tolerate better. Mix it up and have a go!
If you would like further advice about Tummy Time and your baby, please see our previous Blog posts starting with http://therapystars.co.uk/tummy-time/ or contact us at http://therapystars.co.uk/contact-us/
Have a play and let us know how you get on….and thank you to the gorgeous Reggie (and his Mum and Dad) for being our model!