Get excited about tummy time! As a parent, tummy time is one of the first bonding experiences that you get to have with your little one. Tummy time is a major learning experience for your kiddo because they have to opportunity to build upon their neck, shoulder, and core muscles. Intervals of tummy time are essential for development in more ways than one, but we know that some parents find that their kiddo turns a frowny face at it. Understanding where your kiddo is coming from as well as tummy time activities can improve the experience for everyone.
When Tummy Time Becomes Upset Time
Tummy time is basically your baby’s first workout. They’re asked to grow their muscles in a position that they’re not used to yet. Developing strength in muscles takes time and practice. Plus, they’re brand new to this experience!
Unhappiness with tummy time happens, but take heart knowing that even a few seconds can count as an interval for tummy time. Make sure to be consistent and ensure that basic needs are met. An infant that needs rest or food is sure to become unreceptive to this workout. We can’t blame them! If your baby is still crying after a few seconds, let them off the hook. Try to increase the tummy time intervals throughout the day so they have more opportunities to shine. When your baby gets used to tummy time, they may even grow to prefer playing around on their stomach. With practice and some help from tummy time activities, these sessions can become a happy time.
Tummy Time Activities For the Win!
Think for a moment about all the new skills your kiddo has yet to build upon. Tummy time is an excellent opportunity to practice building muscles, fine motor skills, new vocabulary, hand-eye coordination, and sensory experience, among many things. For our creative parents out there, we definitely challenge you to think outside the box. In what way can tummy time be fun yet still help your kiddo enhance their skills? If you’re stuck, we’re happy to inspire you with tummy time activities.
How to Bring Enjoyment to the Party
Tummy time activities can raise the fun level but aim to keep it simple. Your kiddo is still learning to navigate this strange position. Your job is to manipulate the environment in a way that encourages them to flourish. Let’s talk!
Interact with Them
If you do any of these activities, interaction is a must. No toy, television program, or object will ever be able to replace real-life moments with the family. When your practicing tummy time with your baby, start interacting with them. Sing them a song, coo, make funny noises, and make different funny faces at them. Your baby will love this time with you. Plus, they’re already starting to developing social skills by interacting with you!
Colors, All the Colors!
Little ones love bright colors! Place colorful, bright stickers on the wall at eye-level so your baby can check it out at tummy time. You could also open up a colorful book or lay toys in front of them. Watch them look, stare, reach, and be curious about the cool colors. You can even start teaching them color vocab.
Change up the Tummy Time Moves
We know that tummy time happens on the stomach, but it can also be done in various positions. Pathways.org shares a variety of different ways here. Feel free to mix it up. You might just find a favorite!
Get out a mirror that you can prop up for your baby. They’ll be able to see their reflection, which can really generate fascination. You might even see them reach out to touch the baby in the mirror until they learn that this is their own reflection. Is that a different baby? Oh, wait… That’s me!
Use Toys that Make Noise
A sound goes off in the room, and you don’t quite know what it is. Do you look for it? Of course, you do! Babies are the same way. If you introduce a toy that makes some noise, it could really be helpful in grabbing their interest.
Fill a bottle with water, clear glue, and glitter (or other colorful crafty items) to present to your baby at tummy time. They may try to reach for it or simply watch it with curiosity. Give it a good shake so that the wonder can unfold!
We really appreciate the idea of sensory bags. These are a super sneaky and handy way to enhance their sensory experience while still having fun. They can be colorful and created with colorful cotton balls, goo, glitter, and so much more. You can’t go wrong with this tummy time activity!
If your kiddo simple cannot stand tummy time, it might be time to learn more about how Pediatric Physical Therapy can help improve their strength, flexibility, body awareness, balance, posture, gait, and orthotics training.