- Strengthening neck muscles and achieving head control is crucial for a baby’s physical development.
- Tummy time is a valuable tool to help babies develop head control and other motor skills.
- Gradually introduce tummy time, and use interaction and toys to encourage your baby.
- Resources like Kinedu offer additional tips and information to support your baby’s head control development.
Okay, so we’ve been through this topic before and we all know how important it is for our little ones to strengthen their neck muscles and achieve total head control. By now, you’ve probably heard that, as your baby develops and grows stronger, they will eventually master this skill, yay! But as a parent with tons of resources at your disposal (such as, Kinedu), you’re probably wondering what YOU can do at home to help your little one reach this milestone and gain yet another skill in the ever-growing repertoire.
First off, a recap. The acquisition of this skill (head control, that is) is crucial since it will lay the foundation for many more physical skills such as rolling-over, sitting, crawling, and walking. If you want to read more about what can be expected for this skill at each stage in your baby’s development you can do so in this article (Motor milestones: head control).
Now, unto the fun part. Tummy time is actually a secret tool you can use to help your little one make tremendous leaps in head control. So, what exactly is tummy time? It’s all that time they spend on their stomach awake and most importantly: under your supervision. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), if a baby lays on their back for prolonged periods of time, their head can flatten and, even though there’s no developmental problems related to this, if there’s anything you can do to prevent it, go for it!
Every minute your baby is face-down encourages them to lift the head and boost their motor skills! It’s completely normal if your little one is no fan of tummy time at first, hardly any baby is! Which is why it’s important to introduce it gradually and increase tummy time little by little.
Here are some tips you can do to make the most of tummy time!
- Place your baby on their tummy on your stomach and speak to them. Curiosity and affection towards you will play their part and encourage your baby to look up towards you.
- If your baby is really not a fan of tummy time, the AAP recommends this position: Place your child on a blanket, lay them on their side with a rolled-up towel or cushion behind their back, and a cushion or rolled-up blanket under their head for support. Bring both arms and legs forward in front of your baby. Try to keep them entertained with rattles, songs or toys for a bit before alternating and repeating on the other side.
- Place some of your baby’s favorite toys nearby and move them around encouraging them to move their head and follow the toy’s path.