Tummy time is when your newborn is placed on their belly while awake. It encourages them to look around, which strengthens their eye muscles, and develops other muscles in their neck, shoulder, and trunk. These muscles are important for developmental milestones such as sitting, crawling and walking. It also helps prevent a flat spot that can develop from spending a majority of their time on their backs while asleep.
You’re probably doing tummy time even before you know you’re doing it. You start while you’re still in the hospital, just doing skin to skin as your baby lays on you. As the weeks go by, you can start by placing your baby on their belly, on a firm surface, with something soft to lay on. You want to create a safe environment to practice tummy time. You should always monitor your baby and never leave them alone during tummy time because they have a very limited range of neck motion, they will often have their face down and you want to keep their airways clear.
Your baby will probably hate tummy time, in the beginning, it’s a frustrating experience for them. But with a little bit of practice every time they’re awake, even just for a few minutes, it will help strengthen those muscles. At around 2-3 months old, they begin to pick up their heads and hold it for a few seconds. It will be the first of many milestones, enjoy the moment. Even if your baby still hates doing tummy time, try developing a schedule and practice in small increments. It’ll build up their stamina and muscles.
Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Gym is great for stimulating your baby during tummy time. It’s soft but won’t bunch up, making it safe and comfortable for your baby to lay on. It comes with five detachable toys that light up, rattle, and sing, and an unbreakable mirror. The mirror will engage your baby and help develop a sense of self, and not only that but will help with social and emotional developments when they see their reflection smiling back at them. It also comes with a small tummy time pillow to help prop them up, giving more support for a new perspective. That will help them enjoy tummy time more.
As your baby grows older, you can lay down and engage with them at eye level. You can place the Skip Hop detachable toys in front of them to encourage them to develop their fine motor skills. You can hang them off the activity gym’s arch and they will reach up and try to grasp it. It makes playtime fun and holds your baby’s attention. Eventually, your baby will be able to fully hold up their own head, and won’t fuss anymore, giving them a new sense of independence. Soon, your baby won’t want to stay on their backs and will constantly love being on their tummy.