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Tummy time helps strengthen your newborns head, neck and back muscles and serves to promote the development of motor skills. Here are 10 ways you can make tummy time a fun activity for both you and your young one!
Tummy Time Activities
- Join in on the fun
Tummy time will be much more enjoyable for them if you do it too, especially when your baby is young. Your baby loves having you around and your face is their favorite toy. Lie on your belly next to your baby (or face-to-face) and keep them company.
- Make a book wall
Prop up a picture book for your baby to “read” while they are doing tummy time. Make sure the pictures are bold and vibrant to keep your little one’s attention. Better yet? Find a book with lots of black and white images.
Who can blame a baby for not wanting to lay around on a hard floor. If your baby is less than excited about tummy time, try being the floor! Lay on your back and lay your baby on your torso so that their belly is down and they are facing you.
- Lay out the toys
Keep your baby entertained during tummy time with lots of things to look at. Spread out a few toys around them and try to engage your baby. This may also help your baby to practice turning their head from side-to-side as they look around at all the toys.
- Have a ball
Carefully place your baby down on top of an exercise ball (you may need to vary the angle at which your baby is positioned depending on what kind of challenge they are ready for). Once you’ve found the best, most comfortable position, gently and slowly roll your baby back and forth, always ensuring you have a good grip on your baby.
- Prop them up
Tummy time is exhausting work for a baby: it’s a workout! Help them out by laying them on top of a Boppy pillow (or a rolled up blanket if you don’t have a Boppy). Because your baby will be at an incline, it is easier for them to lift and hold their head up. They can also see more of their surroundings since their line of sight is now slightly elevated.
- Get out the activity gym
A fun patterned tummy time mat will help distract your baby from the actual tummy time going on. Most of these activity gyms offer more than just a colorful mat too: they can feature a variety of visuals, sounds and textures. My favorite is Skip Hop’s Explore & More Amazing Arch Activity Gym because you move the arch down so that your baby can look at themselves in the mirror while on their tummy.
8. Mirror, Mirror
Babies love looking at themselves in the mirror. Offer the opportunity during tummy time by purchasing a tummy time floor mirror (don’t use a regular household mirror since they are made of glass and can break). Your baby will be encouraged to hold their head up so they can get a glimpse of that cute face.
Help your baby enjoy tummy time by offering them a gentle massage. You can use lotion, coconut oil, or simply give them a good rub-down over their clothes.
- Take it slow
If your baby is still not enjoying tummy time, give them a break and try again later. If putting them on their tummy for several minutes is making them unhappy, you might want to try putting them down for tummy time more often but for less time and then slowly increase the time as your baby gets used to it.