Tummy time is important, but it is not always fun in the beginning. It is hard. However, the sooner the baby starts practicing, the easier it will get. Here are our guidelines on how you can make tummy time a little more fun.
How long should tummy time be?
In USA recommended tummy time is at least 15 minutes twice a day, while in the Netherlands, the recommendations are putting the baby on the belly at least three times a day. In Sweden they say that babies should sleep on the back but play on their stomach, without giving a specific amount of time. Studies show that 30-90 minutes a day are good for the babies development.
Start with one to two minutes a couple of times a day. Soon you will reach the recommended 30-90 minutes a day. Most likely your child will also start liking it and you can see quick improvements. As all exercises we haven’t done before it is usually most difficult in the beginning.
Choose the right time for practicing
Choosing the right time for tummy time practice is a good idea. To get the best out of the practice and limit the crying, make sure the baby is not hungry or tired. Specialists recommend that babies should be placed on the tummy after every nap, diaper change and feeding. If the child has a sensitive stomach it is probably best to wait 20-30 minutes after feeding, before placing it on a full belly. Try to find the right time between not hungry and not too full.
Keep your baby company
Babies are not that different from adults and they like to have company. The feeling of security when parents are close to them can help. Sit with your child or lie next to him, or in front of him when practicing tummy time. Place yourself in front of the baby with your face, facing his and talk with the baby. This will make him curious and try to lift the head to see you. This is a good practice. If you distract the baby from the hard work it’s doing they will manage longer. The body will become stronger and the exercises will become easier.
If your company is not enough, try different kinds of entertainment. You can open a colorful book on the floor in front of the child. Or show the baby a rattle toy that grabs the attention. All to distract the baby from the uncomfortable position and the hard work they are doing. When the child gets older and stronger in the neck you can use the toy to practice moving the head along with the toy. Eventually the baby will get used to the position and start enjoying this time.
When placed on the stomach, the child can experience being abandoned. As being placed on the stomach, with the face down, gives limited and unfamiliar view. Providing a familiar environment for the baby can help the child feeling secure. In that case, using our SleepCarrier can be a great solution. The SleepCarrier can be used as the child’s sleeping environment both in the bed, in the stroller and on the move. The SleepCarrier can be folded out and used as a playmat and is the perfect place to practice tummy time. You can choose if you want the sides to be up and give protection or folded out on the floor to give more space and possibilities to move around. Try to create a familiar place for practicing so that your child is more secure and comfortable.
Read more about our SleepCarrier