Babies don't always love tummy time; building neck and back muscles from scratch is pretty hard work! But it's a really important part of your baby's development and will ultimately help them on their journey to rolling, sitting and crawling. It will also help prevent flat spots developing on the back of their head. The good news is, with practice, tummy time does get easier. Here are our top tips!
1. Start early, start small.
You can start practising tummy time right away. To begin with, once a day is enough, and just as long as baby is willing to tolerate it. Aim to slowly increase duration over time.
2. Timing is everything
Tummy time is a big workout for a baby. Don't start tummy time when your little person is already tired. When he/she first wakes up from a nap is ideal.
3. Stay close
When you first start tummy time, you might like to do so by simply lying down and placing baby tummy-down, arms forward on your chest. Your closeness will be reassuring.
4. Soft surface
When you move to floor tummy time, make sure you're placing baby on a soft surface. Wriggle Crew Waterproof Padded Play Mats provide just the right amount of cushioning, and if baby has a spill, you can simply wipe it up.
5. Distract, distract, distract!
You might be able to prolong your baby's tummy-time by placing objects for them to look at/ play with, directly in front of them. Soft mirrors often work well, or their favourite toy. Wriggle Crew Waterproof Padded Play Mats are designed with contrasting patterns to hold baby's attention for longer. Mums and Dads can opt to give tummy time a try too - lie in front of baby so they can see you when they raise their head.
6. Further help
If you're still having trouble with tummy time or have any questions regarding your baby's development, reach out to your lead maternity carer (LMC) or Plunket nurse. Plunketline is a free, 24/7 service 0800 933 922