If you are a new mother, you might hear, read, or be recommended about tummy time. But still wonder what it is and how it will affect your baby’s development. In short, it is a method to help your baby lying on their stomach, which will benefit them in different ways. It is recommended that your baby should have tummy time every day to help their development. To help you understand more about this method, here is our guide for the benefits of tummy time.
Tummy Time Will Prevent Flat Head Syndrome
Your newborn baby will spend most of their day sleeping. According to guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 1994, it is safest for your baby to lie on their backs to prevent sudden infant death syndromes (SIDS). However, as your baby spends roughly 15 hours facing the ceiling, it may put too much pressure on one spot of your baby’s head. This may lead to Flathead syndrome and affect your baby’s development. So the AAP also recommended that your baby needs to be on their stomach when they are awake. You should let your baby have tummy time 2 to 3 times a day for a short period ( normally 3 – 5 minutes). A good time to start this method is following diaper changes or right when your baby wakes up from a nap.
Helps Your Baby Build Their Strength
As babies grow older and stronger they will need more time on their tummies to build their strength. Lying on their stomach will help them to practice their upper body strength and promote their head control. During tummy time, your baby will move their head, arms, and legs instinctively, which helps them to develop their muscles. On top of that, these seemingly unconscious actions help your baby to form the ability to coordinate parts of the body. By placing an object in front of them during tummy time, you can encourage them to develop their reaching and vision. These skills will be your baby’s foundation to learn other movements. At 4 to 5 months of age, your baby will start to use their hands to lift their upper body, and soon they will begin to crawl.
Lying on their belly Will Expand Your Baby’s Perspective
As your baby spends most of their time looking up, they may find the world around them very boring. By letting your baby lie on their stomach for a short time, you will help them to change their perspective. Changing the baby’s perspective makes it easier for them to explore their surroundings. They will also stimulate their senses such as sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Discovering the surroundings is the main motivation for your baby to move their body and help them to learn other movement skills later. In contrast, researches show that a baby who has less tummy time may have limited senses, emotions, and the ability to focus attention. In fact, the increased use of infant seats, swings, and carriers nowadays make babies harder to experience tummy time to train their muscles and senses. So remember to let your baby have some tummy time each day.
So, there you go, now you have the benefits of tummy time for your baby. Do you have any activities for tummy time? We’d love to see them in the comments!