Tummy time milestones and activities

Tummy Time Milestones and Activities Every Mom Should Know

As a new parent, the term tummy time may seem like a foreign concept to you, but fear not! We’re all here to learn new things every day. Tummy time is just what it sounds like. It’s the time that your baby spends on their tummy every day. Though your baby may like being on their back better than being on their tummy, it’s a very important time for your baby’s developmental growth.

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So, it’s important to encourage your little munchkin to spend some time on their belly from the day they come home from the hospital. To learn more about tummy time, let’s take a look at some activities babies can do during this time and what important milestones it can help your baby achieve.

Tummy Time Activities.

Not every baby is a big fan of tummy time. So, to make it more exciting and interesting for your baby, here’s a list of tummy time activities every mom should know.

·       Take out your yoga or exercise ball and place your baby on top, tummy down (place a blanket on the ball to make it comfortable for them). While keeping a firm hand on them so they don’t slip from the ball, gently roll backward, forward and side to side and even bounce a little. This will make your baby think of tummy time as a fun activity and it may even stop some of this tummy time tears.

·       Try changing the location for tummy time. Changing the view will make them curious, and they will want to explore their new surroundings. You can also take them outdoors during nice and warm weather for tummy time. Just place a baby play mat in your yard and lay down with your baby side by side and enjoy the nice weather.

·       Lie down with your baby side by side or face to face (whatever you prefer) on a comfortable surface. Then entice your baby by talking to them or by showing them exciting toys and how to play with them by moving them around. This will encourage the baby to move their head. Make sure the toys you use are safe and age-appropriate.

·       If your baby cries on the floor then you can use some different positions.

  • i.    Try holding them in your arms on their belly while you walk around the house.
  • ii.   Lie down on your back, place the baby tummy down on your chest and talk to them face to face.
  • iii.  After each feed when it is time to burp, place the baby on your lap, tummy side down and gently pat their back.

·       You can use a pillow to prop their head up and away from the floor. A nursing pillow is your best friend when it comes to tummy time. Putting a tightly rolled-up blanket under their arms may also get the job done. Also, hold a mirror in front of them during this time, it will make them curious about their reflection and make them want to reach out towards it. Remember to use a non-breakable mirror.

Tummy Time Milestones.

Most moms give up tummy time because their babies don’t like being on their tummy. That’s why every mom must know the benefits of tummy time and different milestones it can help babies achieve during the first year of their lives.

·       Month 1: Most newborn babies can be placed on their stomach as they can turn their head and look from one side to the other. They can also hold their head slightly up for a little while from the ground when they’re on their tummy.

·       Month 2:  They move their arms further away from underneath their body and they eventually press their tiny hand down into the surface to push up their tiny chest and shoulders slightly. They can also put some weight on their forearms and shoulders to bring their hands out from the chest.

·       Month 3:  They can hold their head up at 45 to 90 degrees without bobbing. Their shoulder and chest muscles strengthen and they’re able to hold their weight onto their forearms and elbows.

·       Month 4:  They can hold their head up at 90 degrees easily. Their neck muscles strengthen and have better control over it.

·       Month 5:  At this age, your baby may show signs of trying to reach for toys or other objects while on their tummy and will try to move when placed on their tummy. You may also notice that they are straightening their arms to lift their chests right up off the floor.

·       Month 6:  Your baby may do little impressions of push-ups with their tummy on the floor and arms straight. They may also be able to support their body with one arm while trying to reach for a toy with the other one.

·       Month 7:  Baby may get on their hands and knees and rock back and forth in what may look like an early attempt towards crawling.

·       Month 8: They may no longer need help from their upper body to lift their lower body and they may kneel more, which will make it easier for them to play.

·       Month 9: It is at this stage your little one may crawl. Switching between tummy time, getting on hands and knees and sitting will be a lot easier now with their newly increased muscle strength.

·       Month 10: Your baby may stand up with the help of putting their weight and pulling themselves up through different objects around the house.

·       Month 11:  Their hand may become less important now to help stand up because their leg and hip muscles are a lot stronger now. They will also fall less often now while trying to stand.

·       Month 12:  Gaining the strength, shifting their body weight accordingly and getting stable while standing. Your little one may be ready to take their first step.

Above are tummy time milestones you should watch out for in your baby. According to various reports, tummy time is very important for the developmental growth of the baby. So, take out some time for it and make it a part of your baby’s routine for healthy development. If your baby doesn’t like it at first, then don’t give up easily and try to make it more interesting for them by following the tips above. This will help your baby a lot in developing their core muscles and learning head control.

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