During your little one’s first ‘leap’ there will be many different milestones that they reach. But none of their milestones come with ease, and it’s important to take time with them to practice and help them learn new skills.
When we speak to healthcare professionals, they see tummy time as one of the most important exercises that your little one can do. Not only does tummy time give you bonding time with your baby, but it can also help strengthen their muscles and improve their development.
If you’re unsure about tummy time and what it means, this blog has all the information you could need.
What is Tummy Time?
You might be unfamiliar with the term ‘tummy time’, however, it’s nothing overly daunting. Tummy Time includes a variety of different exercises that you can do with your baby on their stomach. Tummy Time is also great for assisting your baby with their head support, helping with those key developmental milestones.
What are the Benefits of Tummy Time?
While it may seem simple, tummy time has numerous benefits that contribute to an infant’s physical, cognitive, and social development. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of tummy time and why it should be incorporated into every infant’s daily routine. Here are some of the important benefits of tummy time.
Child Development – tummy time is a really important part of your child’s development, helping them with things such as sitting, rolling and crawling. As you progress tummy time with your little one, they will get stronger. It provides them with a good start to learning to move and explore their surroundings.
Muscle Strength – not only is tummy time great for the development of your little one, but the positions your child’s in during tummy time help to relieve pressure from the back of their head. The muscles which lift the head during tummy time can also help to round out the lower part of the skull.
When is Best To Do Tummy Time?
You can start Tummy Time when you feel it is right for your baby, although the activities you choose to do should be dependent on their age. For newborns, your activities and exercises should be calming for the baby.
How Often Should we do Tummy Time?
The best time to do tummy time with your little one is when you notice they are alert and awake, as well as playful. It’s always key to be on your baby’s level during this time, and supervise them at all times to prevent them from falling asleep on their front.
It is recommended that 30 minutes of tummy time a day is perfect for your little one, trying a variety of different activities with them each time – this might involve going to a baby sensory class in your area too.
As your little one gets older and much more confident this can be increased to 90 minutes throughout the day.
How Do I Know My Child Is Progressing?
Every child is completely different, and they all do things at different stages of their development – so don’t put any pressure on yourself. These are just a few helpful indicators to know when your little one might be progressing toward their next steps.
4 months old
It’s important to note that not all children will develop at the same rate, however, at 4 months your baby should be able to move their head side to side when they lie on their back. When they’re laying on their front they should be able to lift or hold their head, neck and chest upward when you place them on their tummy.
6 months old
By 6 months old they should be able to independently roll from their back onto their tummy without assistance, as well as reach for any objects of interest with both hands. Tummy time is important to help them learn these skills during their development.
9 months old
At 9 months old your baby should ideally be able to sit independently with good balance, and then move into a crawling position. At this stage of their development, they should be showing more interest in their toys, passing toys from hand to hand.
12 months old
12 months into development your baby should be able to pull up to a standing position and can pull themselves along the furniture. They should now be able to grip things so are able to walk with both hands held and pick up small objects.
Things to Help with Tummy Time
Millie & Ralph know that baby playtime and tummy time is an essential part of your baby’s development, from developing hand-eye coordination to fine motor skills, or the ability to solve problems.
Millie & Ralph offers a huge range of baby play toys, whether you’re looking for baby rattles, stackers, play mats or activity books, we have the right toys to help your baby not only develop their key skills but also have fun too.
Here are just a few of our favourites:
Mamas & Papas Snuggle Elephant
Our Elephant & Baby Activity Rug & Rattle is designed to help babies with their Tummy Time exercises. This soft cushioned pillow is great for your little one to play and develop.
This pillow is perfect for playtimes and supporting your baby’s muscle and sensory development.
Mamas & Papas Wish Upon A Cloud Tummy Time Roll
This tummy time roll is perfect for encouraging your little one to move their head, and with lots of fun involved too. With plush, super-soft fabrics in gentle creams and greys, it’s a soft, delicate collection that babies will love exploring the first time and every time.
Gilded Bird Quilted Playmat
Whether you’re doing tummy time with your little one, or you’re planning a picnic in the park, these stunning quilted playmats provide plenty of padding for you and your baby.
Their reverse design allows them to seamlessly blend in with your nursery, available in Wild Bee, Lovely Leaves and Pretty Stems.