Kinedu helps parents make tummy time enjoyable with fun activities you can do with your baby at home.
You’ve probably heard about how important tummy time is. Studies show that babies who get a lot of tummy time learn to crawl earlier, as well as many other benefits such as helping to prevent a “flat head” syndrome. Keep reading to find out more about the importance of tummy time, and some activities you can do with your little one at home to help promote their development (and make tummy time a bit more enjoyable – for you both)!
Why is tummy time so important?
Tummy time helps your little one develop their neck, back, and shoulder muscles. This allows them to build key physical skills, such as raising their head, crawling, and eventually standing up.
When should I start tummy time with my baby?
Short answer: it’s never too soon. Many pediatricians recommend beginning tummy time with your baby pretty much as soon as you bring your baby home from the hospital, starting at just 2-3 minutes per day. Incorporating tummy time into your daily playtime routine can be fun with some creative activities.
Tummy time activities
Activity: Tummy time on top of you
Find a soft surface to play with your little one, like your bed. Lay your baby face down on your stomach, and see if you can get them to hold onto your fingers and stretch their arms a little. This activity will help develop your baby’s coordination, strengthen their muscles, and build your bond. As a bonus, you can use this as an opportunity for some extra “skin-to-skin” time!
Activity: Warm and cold toys
On a soft mat or towel, lay your baby on their tummy, and place two bowls in front of them just out of reach – one with warm water and another with cold water. Show your baby some toys as you put them inside the bowls. Encourage your baby to try to reach for the toys and see how they respond to hot and cold stimuli! This will help your child develop their grasp reflex, motor skills and senses.
Activity: Massage before bath time
Before giving your baby their bath, lay them face down on a flat, padded surface. Use a little lotion or baby oil to massage their head and neck gently with your fingertips. Alternate your hands and repeat five times with each hand. This massage will increase your baby’s serotonin (the hormone that makes them feel good), and decrease cortisol (the stress hormone).
Remember to never leave your baby alone during tummy time, and to make sure that they are in the mood for it. If it seems like your baby is not enjoying it, make sure their diaper is clean and they are not hungry or sleepy. Try to wait at least 30 minutes after feeding to help your baby avoid any reflux pain or discomfort.
The more time they spend on their stomach, the sooner they will begin to learn how to crawl and sit up on their own, promoting healthy brain development. Download Kinedu for free to access these baby development activities and thousands more to support your child’s growth through play from 0 to 4 years of age.