• Sue

Tummy time

Tummy time for play- On their backs for sleep

Tummy time is anytime a baby is carried, positioned or played with on their tummies. As soon as your baby starts to develop head control, help baby to play on their tummy. But always supervise.

Why do I need to do this?

Reasons: Floor- based play is important to develop good posture, balance and strength, it helps build the legs, arms, neck and back muscles babies need for sitting and crawling.

It provides the opportunity to learn the skill of rolling from tummy to back.

It develops all their senses and teaches them about their bodies and surroundings.

It helps with the baby’s natural head shape, due to following safety advice and babies sleeping on their backs, more babies can have one side flatter than the other.

This is known as plagiocephaly. It is a cosmetic condition and will not affect your baby’s brain.

It is caused when a baby spends a lot of time in the same position. On their backs sleeping or in a car seat. The advice is, try not to use a car seat unless they are travelling in the car. Bouncy seats should be limited as well as again pressure is on baby’s back of head.

If your baby’s head is laying to one side, you can help by:

  •  If baby is bottle -fed, feed baby on other side if you always feed a certain way. 

  • Try using a baby sling for a different position - Just remember the safe baby wearing rule      T.I.C.K.S

Tight In view always Close enough to kiss Keep chin off the chest Supported back

  • Turn baby’s cot so it encourages them to look to see you coming.

  • Place a mobile so it encourages them to look the other way.

  • During tummy time, think about position of TV, lights and windows as they will look towards all this visual activity.

My baby doesn’t like tummy time, she just cries

Activities to try:

Lie down with baby face -to- face, push down on your hands against the floor as you lift your head. Babies love to watch and copy.  

Try for a short period of time every day and increase it the key is: little and often

Try playing peek-a boo with your hands or a blanket

Make sure their clothing isn’t restrictive, baby should be able to move freely

Place baby on different textures for sensory play, be creative.

Attract baby's attention with noisy toys, try rolling toys in front of them to encourage eye movements

A plastic baby mirror is good as baby’s love to look at others babies   Sing songs.

Hold baby in different positions for a cuddle.

Support them over your knee.

Tiger in the tree hold ( good for colic )

Weather permitting- try outside on a blanket under a tree, they will love to watch the leaves, they can listen for new sounds and new smells. 

Make a treasure blanket to use at tummy time.

Roll up a towel and position under their arms or use a V cushion, As baby gets older try Sitting on your knee and share a book

My baby loves her walker, will this help her to gain skills for walking?

Physiotherapists and other NHS professionals do not recommend the use of baby walkers for two main reasons: safety and development delay.

According to the Child Accident Prevention Trust, baby walkers are associated with more injuries than any other piece of nursery equipment.

They make it easier for your baby to meet hazards such as sharp object and hot drinks, and children have even fallen down stairs whilst using one.

Think safety - get down to their level and look for any hazards such as trailing wires that will be tempting to pull.

In a walker your child can move up to 7mph, faster than a parent can react.

Walkers can delay development, too, as babies spend less time developing floor skills, such as sitting and crawling, and get used to walking on their toes rather than the soles of their feet.

If you do allow your baby to use a walker, the NHS advises:

keep it to a maximum of 20 minutes

never leave unattended and always supervise your little one.

Remember tummy time is for when babies are awake and supervised!

Remember all children develop at different stages so don’t worry if your friends baby is learning to sit or roll over before your baby.

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