Babies spend so much time on their backs when they are sleeping, that is why it is extremely important to mix it up while your little one is awake in order to increase muscle strength and relieve boredom. Here is some extra information for you to know what to do and why.
Why does the baby need tummy time at all?
Babies do need time on their tummies because they need to develop strong neck muscles which will surely help them accomplish all of their physical milestones like sitting, crawling and lastly walking. Your little one will naturally start trying to lift his head to see what is going on around him, but he will not be able to hold his little head up for long periods of time until he is minimum 3 months. Eventually, baby will use this position to roll over, scoot, and support himself with his arms.
When should it start?
Tummy time should start the day newborn comes home from the hospital. Only play with baby on his stomach when he is awake and alert. When you are playing with him, please, make sure he is on a hard surface, such as the floor. A good time to play with your child in this position is after a diaper change or nap.
How much does the baby need it?
In the beginning, play with Baby on his tummy two to three times a day for about three to five minutes each session. As he gets stronger, gradually increase the length of time Baby spends on his stomach.
What if the little one does not like it on his tummy?
Baby might dislike playing on his stomach, but this should not discourage you from giving him some time on the floor. Try to keep him on the floor for three to five minutes but if he refuses, just do it for a minute or two and keep increasing his tummy time quite slowly. Be sure to make his tummy time fun with toys and plenty of time with you. At the end, baby will surely get used to being on his tummy and will even start to enjoy playtime in this position.
What kind of activities there are?
To encourage a newborn to lift his head, you should lie on your back with your child on your stomach. Place Baby on his stomach with his head facing yours. Then just talk to him or maybe make funny faces. Your little one will certainly try to lift up his head to see your face.
While playing with your child in this position, be sure that he is on a low, solid surface, that he would not risk rolling off of a couch or bed. Putting a baby on the floor on top of a blanket is the best way to make sure your child is totally safe. By the way, if you have other children or pets, take care of him that baby would be out of harm's way. One more thing - do not leave your baby alone while he is on his tummy as he could get into a position that is dangerous. Baby can get frustrated easily, that is why you should lay down on the floor with him and make silly faces or even sing songs to him. If your baby gets drowsy or falls asleep while on his tummy, switch him to his back for a nap. You should never let him sleep on his stomach because babies might suffocate and it lessens the chance of SIDS.