Tummy time: a natural position for some babies and a horror story for others. Parents have different feelings about it too. Seeing their baby fussing because she does not like being on the tummy is not the most pleasurable moment. Nevertheless, professionals agree on the importance of tummy time in future learning and recommend parents encourage it. Let’s be honest: it is easier said than done!
Yes, your baby does need to be able to enjoy at least bear spending time on the tummy. This does not mean spending hours and hours in that position, particularly not in the beginning. It just means that this should not be an uncomfortable position that your little one avoids at any cost. A gradual introduction of playful tummy exercises is key to overcoming your baby’s resistance and ensuring a smooth transition to this position.
Since the first weeks of life babies spend some time on their tummy, namely laying on their parents’ chest which also is a wonderful way of bonding. In the later weeks, when on the floor they might start nagging when on the tummy. Seeing their baby cry is, for all parents, a source of frustration. It is hard to bear. However, the reality is that your baby does not cry due to any kind of pain, but because this very position happens to be at the limit of their development level.
So by encouraging them to be on their tummy, you also slowly and gradually encourage them to go out of their comfort zone, breach the limits, and grow further. Some key aspects of tummy time? It forms the foundation of muscle tone for future movements such as rolling, crawling, sitting and eventually walking. Moreover, on her tummy your baby explores movement and integrates different sensory stimuli. All these aspects form the basis of future skills.
Do you wonder how in practice you’ll get your little one to be on the tummy? Do not worry! There are different ways and paces of introducing tummy time. If you think you’d like to have a hands-on approach and practical support, an early child development instructor or mom coach will be the right address to go to. This kind of 1-to-1 support also provides you with deeper insight into the sensory and motor development of the first couple of months.
Parenthood is a unique and wonderful experience! It also is a very challenging one making your face and overcome different levels and shapes of frustration along the way. You grow stronger and wiser with your baby. Take the daily challenges and trust that the future will unfold beautifully.