Tummy Time: More than prevention of flat head syndrome
To achieve healthy and normal growth development and prevent flat head syndrome incorporate the following positioning techniques in your baby's daily activities.
The excellent work out for babies: TUMMY TIME
TUMMY TIME promotes normal shaping of the back the head, thereby reduces the risk of deformational plagiocephaly, it also helps in many other ways:
Normal musculoskeletal development. Being in prone provides baby opportunity to work out the upper body muscles thereby develops balance of flexion and extension needed for normal musculoskeletal development.
Learning and discovery. Looking around from a new perspective encourages baby learning and discovery of the world.
Self-exploration. Being in prone baby is exposed to a lot of tactile sensory input to the face, mouth and other body parts thus stimulate learning and self-exploration.
Crawling. Tummy time also encourages baby to practice reaching and pivoting, skills that are the precursor for crawling.
Self confidence. When baby learns to make his body do new things, he feels a sense of accomplishment and gains more confidence to try new skills as he grows and his coordination improves.
Tummy Time to play: minimum 30 minutes a day but the more the better
- Start early. Introduce tummy time within the first few days of life and continued thereafter. Place your newborn belly-down on your chest or across your lap for a few minutes is a good start to get him accustomed to the position.
- Think comfort. Lay your little one down on a flat, clean surface, such as a blanket or play mat on the floor. If she squirms or cries, try some extra padding. Roll up a small receiving blanket and tuck it under her chest, at the nipple level with arms forward of the roll, to help shift the weight posteriorly. This small adjustment can make big difference for baby's tolerance for tummy time.
- Add a little extra time. Put baby on his tummy after each diaper change. Add a little extra time each day. Short periods of quality tummy time are more beneficial than leaving baby in prone for longer time while crying.
- Go head to head. Lie down on the floor and get face-to-face with your infant. Make goofy noises and expressions, or sing songs. You might feel silly, but your infant will be less likely to fight being on his belly.
- Give her distractions. Hold a mirror in front of your baby to capture her attention. Or place brightly colored stuffed animals just within her reach. There are also plenty of tummy-time toys that can keep your baby from getting bored.
- Get others in on the act. Encourage friends, relatives, and your child's caregivers to get down on the floor for short periods of tummy time with him as well.