Daily practice of tummy time helps little ones develop strong neck, core, arm, and leg muscles. And none of us can deny the importance of getting them stronger. Tummy time can do it for your baby.
What is Tummy Time?
Tummy time is a great time to play and interact with a baby. It is when your infant lays on his/her stomach while supervised.
If you see your baby is always on their back, be ready to see your baby to get a flat spot on their head. It is mostly a cosmetic issue and that would go away over time. However, this could affect mobility of their head, neck, and shoulder.
Tummy time is the fix.
When your baby is on their belly, they have to look up – left, right, or up to see people and objects. It means moving their head around would help their skull round out, as well as strengthens their neck, shoulders, and trunk. Tummy time also encourages your little one to practice reaching and pivoting, learning skills that are often precursors to crawling.
When to Start Tummy Time?
Start as soon as you get your baby home from the hospital. In the initial days or weeks, tummy can be encouraged on mummy or daddy’s chest. Your little one can hear you , smell you, hear your heart beats, and talking or singing to them will encourage them to look at you.
How to Do Tummy Time?
In the initial days, parents should look to
- Support their babies’ bottom
- Keep their infants’ head to side, not face down
- Note baby is awake
- Note baby changes their head position
If you start with the baby facing the left side, then make sure to change it to right. It will help prevent torticollis and maintain neck range of motion. Also make sure to engage the baby by either talking or singing. Parents can put their baby on the tummy also.
If you are not ready to start now, pediatric physiotherapists at CP child physiotherapy clinic in Dubai, Hope AMC, recommend doing it 3-5 minutes before feeding. The sooner you start, the easier it gets.
What are the Positive Benefits of Tummy Time?
- Impact on total development, such as communication, gross motor, sensory, social skills and visual skills
- Babies/infants who spent more time on tummy (prone) when awake showed early milestone achievement
- Prevention of flattening of head also known as brachycephaly
- Strengthens neck, back and head
Once your child is rolling over and spending time on his/her stomach independently, which tends to happen usually by 6-months old, you can stop doing tummy time practice.
At Hope AMC, a complete medical care facility for children, you will find a specialized, intensive physiotherapy program in Dubai. Contact them and book an appointment for baby physiotherapy needs.