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Tummy Time for Newborn Babies

Tummy time is a crucial activity for newborn babies that helps promote their overall development and strengthen their muscles. By placing infants on their stomachs while they are awake and supervised, parents can provide an environment that encourages the growth of essential motor skills. In this article, we will explore the benefits of the exercise for newborn babies and provide four key phrases to help you understand and implement this vital practice.

mom doing tummy exercise her baby

What is tummy time?

It refers to the period when a baby is placed on their stomach while they are awake and under adult supervision. It is typically recommended to start the exercise when the baby is just a few weeks old. By placing the infant on a firm, flat surface, such as a blanket on the floor, parents can encourage the development of various physical and cognitive skills.

Benefits of tummy time

It offers numerous benefits for newborn babies. Firstly, it helps to strengthen the muscles in their neck, shoulders, and upper body. As babies lift their heads and push up on their forearms during exercise, they develop better head control and gradually gain the strength needed for other milestones, such as rolling over and crawling.

Secondly, it also helps prevent positional plagiocephaly, a condition characterized by flat spots on the baby’s head. Spending excessive time on their back can lead to this condition, and it provides a balance by relieving pressure on the back of the head.

Thirdly, it aids in the development of gross motor skills. When babies are on their stomachs, they learn to push up, reach for toys, and eventually learn to roll over. These movements enhance their coordination and lay the foundation for future physical activities.

Lastly, the exercise is an excellent opportunity for babies to explore their surroundings and engage with their caregivers. It stimulates their senses and promotes cognitive development as they observe and interact with the world from a different perspective.

Here are six newborn baby tummy time exercises:

Tummy time is one of the most important activities for your newborn baby. It helps to promote healthy development and strengthen muscles. Here are six tummy time exercises you can do with your baby:

Mini Push-ups:

Place your baby on their tummy and gently support their chest with your hands. Encourage them to push up using their arms while keeping their head and neck aligned.

Push ups are a great way to help your baby develop their upper body strength. As your baby grows, make sure to adjust the exercise accordingly by providing more support and decreasing the amount of weight they need to lift.

Start by having your baby lie on their tummy, legs extended behind them. Place one hand behind their back and one hand in front of their chest, with their elbows bent and fingertips touching the floor. Then, slowly lift their chest off the ground before returning it to the floor, repeating this motion as many times as your baby can handle.

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Reach and Grab:

Lay your baby on their tummy and position a colorful toy just within their reach. This exercise encourages them to extend their arm and practice reaching and grasping.

Reaching and grabbing objects is an important skill for developing fine motor skills in babies. To help your baby practice reaching and grabbing, you can place toys nearby that they can easily reach. This encourages them to use their hands to explore the world around them.

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Tummy-to-Tummy Time:

Lie down on your back and place your baby on top of your chest, tummy-to-tummy. This exercise allows for close parent-baby interaction while your baby strengthens their neck and upper body muscles.

baby tummy time

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Tummy-to-tummy time is an important bonding activity for infants and their parents. It involves holding your baby on their tummy with your chest, in a secure and comfortable position. This allows you to look into each other’s eyes while you talk, sing or make silly faces.

Tummy-to-tummy time can help strengthen your baby’s neck and back muscles, and it also helps promote emotional bonding. Make sure you talk to your baby while they are on your chest so they can learn to associate their parents’ voice with love and security.

Rolling Practice:

During the exercise, gently roll your baby from their tummy onto their back and back to their tummy again. This exercise helps them develop the muscles and coordination needed for rolling over independently.

Rollover is an important milestone in a baby’s development, as it marks the start of their physical mobility. Ensuring your baby has the right environment and support to encourage rollover can help them reach this important milestone. Here are some tips for helping your baby learn to roll over:

• Make sure your baby has plenty of supervised tummy time. This helps build core muscle strength and gives your baby time to practice moving around on their own.

• When your baby is on their tummy, gently encourage them to move their arms and legs in a crawling motion. This helps strengthen the muscles they need for rolling over.

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Toe Touches:

With your baby on their tummy, gently hold their legs and bring their knees toward their chest. Slowly extend their legs back out, allowing them to reach and touch their toes. This activity helps to develop and strengthen their core muscles and leg coordination.

Toe touches are a great way to help your baby develop their coordination and balance. To do a toe touch, sit on the floor in front of your baby and help them stand upright. Then, have them reach down and try to touch their toes with their hands. Make sure you offer support when necessary, but encourage them to do it themselves if they can.

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Side-Lying Tummy Time:

Place your baby on their side, propped up with a rolled-up towel behind their back for support. This position helps alleviate pressure on the tummy while still engaging the muscles and allowing for exploration.

Side-lying tummy time is an important exercise to help your baby strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles. Start by lying on your side next to your baby, facing each other. Then, gently guide your baby onto their opposite side so they are lying on their tummy, with their head resting in the crook of your arm. Make sure you support their neck and back while they are in this position, and talk to them to help them feel secure.

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To keep your baby engaged during Exercise, consider incorporating these activities:

Exercising with your baby can be a great way to bond and have fun. To keep your baby engaged during exercise, consider incorporating these activities:

Mirror play:

Place a baby-safe mirror in front of your little one to spark their curiosity and encourage self-discovery. Babies often enjoy looking at their reflections and making funny faces.

Mirror play is a great way to help your baby develop their cognitive and motor skills. It can also be a great way to have fun with your little one! To get started, simply prop up a baby-safe mirror in front of your baby while they are sitting or lying down. Encourage them to interact with the reflection by making funny faces, clapping, waving, or using simple hand motions.

Using rattles or musical toys during exercise can be a great way to encourage your baby to move and groove. You can also use them as an incentive to help your baby reach certain milestones, such as rolling over or reaching for an object.

Playing music that you both enjoy is a great way to make exercising with your baby more entertaining. Singing and dancing along to the music will help keep your baby focused and entertained, while also providing an opportunity for physical

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Prop up with a rolled towel:

If your baby needs extra support, roll up a small towel and place it under their chest to prop them up slightly. This can help them lift their head and engage their upper body muscles.

Proping up with a rolled towel can be a great way to help your baby get comfortable after feedings. It can also give them the support they need to prevent choking or reflux. When using a rolled towel, make sure to place it behind the baby’s back and never put it under their head. This is because having something under their head can block their airway, making them at risk for choking.

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Sensory toys:

Introduce soft toys, textured surfaces, or brightly colored objects to stimulate your baby’s senses and make the exercise more enjoyable.

Sensory toys are a great way to stimulate baby’s senses and help them develop. They provide visual, auditory and tactile stimulation that can help baby learn and grow. Sensory toys often have bright colors, textures, sounds, and movements that can grab a baby’s attention. Some sensory toys include rattles, musical instruments, balls with different textures, bubbles, squeaky toys, and more.

How often and how long for tummy time?

During the early stages, tummy time for newborns should include 3-minute sessions, two or three times a day. As the baby grows and becomes stronger, it is recommended by the AAP to gradually increase the duration of tummy time, reaching a total of 20 to 30 minutes per day by the age of 7 weeks.

At around 4 months, babies typically develop the ability to lift their chest off the floor, support themselves on their elbows with their head in an upright position, and may also be able to lift their arms off the floor, arch their back, and kick their feet.

When babies are on the floor, they may unintentionally lean and fall over, rolling from their belly onto their back. This is a normal part of their development. At around 5 or 6 months, they will start to pivot on their belly and use their arms to reach in different directions.

When babies learn new physical abilities, it can enhance their confidence to explore new skills, thus making tummy time a crucial factor in promoting future development.

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A guide on safely performing tummy time.

During tummy time, place your child on a low, solid surface to prevent them from rolling off a couch or bed. The floor is typically the safest option, but ensure it’s not a hard surface that could harm their face. Consider using a playmat for added safety. If you have other children or pets, make sure your baby is kept away from any potential harm.

If a baby becomes drowsy or falls asleep on their tummy, it is recommended to switch them to their back for a nap. Stomach sleeping, along with unsafe sleep practices such as having blankets and stuffed animals near a sleeping baby, raises the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SID).

It is important to ensure the safety of infants by not leaving them unattended on their belly, as this can increase the risk of suffocation. Additionally, it is recommended to remove any blankets, stuffed animals, or toys from the sleeping area.

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What to Do If Your Baby Hates Tummy Time

Babies may demonstrate resistance to doing pint-size push-ups and show displeasure when placed facedown. According to Dr. Henry Shapiro, a specialist in pediatric development and behavior at All Children’s Hospital, when lying on their stomach, babies exert significant effort to hold their heads up due to the force of gravity. The city of Petersburg is located in Florida.

Keep your baby on the floor for three minutes. If they refuse, try doing it for a minute or two. Gradually increase and encourage tummy time. Your baby will eventually get used it and start enjoying it. Dr. Shapiro recommends making tummy time a regular part of play, not a chore.

Tummy time can be done on the floor or in a front carrier or wrap. This helps babies use their muscles and prevents pressure on the back of their heads. Holding your baby upright is also a form of tummy time, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Remember, each baby is unique, and it’s essential to be attentive to their comfort and readiness during its exercises. Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as your baby grows stronger and more comfortable.

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