If we stay in the same position for a long time, our shoulders and neck will stiffen, our back will hurt, and our posture will deteriorate. I'm sure you have experience with this. Why does this kind of malfunction occur?
Put simply, it can be said that the lack of muscle movement (contraction) causes muscle contraction and high tension. Then how about your baby?
Babies spend a lot of time on their backs after birth. Moreover, they can hardly move their body by themself for a few months after birth. Therefore, sleeping on their back for a long time can cause various kind of malfunction occur.
What is well known is that the head becomes a cliff. The baby's head is very soft and deformable.
Strain in the skull can affect brain development or cause body strain, and Tummy time can help prevent.
Tummy time also helps muscles contract by raising their heads and pushing the floor with their hands, training the muscles around the neck, shoulders, and back muscles.
Other than that, it is said that it helps develop language and communication.
Tummy time can be started regardless of age, and the method and time can be changed according to the baby's development. The precautions are to do it when the baby is awake, and to stay with him during Tummy time and not be alone.
So how do you actually do it?Here are some ways to do this:
①First, hold the baby face to face. Hold the baby on your chest as it is, and you will gradually fall back and take a horizontal position. This method is a position that even children who are not sitting on their heads can do it safely. Stay in this position, pat baby’s back gently, talk to them, and sing for them. This method also prepares you for Tummy time on the bed, couch, floor etc.
② Spread the blanket or towel on the floor and lay the baby face down on it. At that time, turn baby’s face either side. And you’ll close their armpit. Then, it will be easier baby lift their neck by themself.
③Actually, I often do it in clinical situations, but if you have a balance ball at home, I recommend that you put your baby on top of it and do Tummy Time. Swinging and bouncing movements can be an interesting stimulus for babies, and they may be happy to do Tummy Time.
There are many other ways to do Tummy time depending on the state of development and the baby's preference. What I don't want you to forget is that Tummy time should not be a “uncomfortable” for babies. It is important to look for ways for babies to feel at ease and enjoy themselves as part of "play”. For newborns and unfamiliar babies, they will do two to three sets a day, taking 1-2 minutes as a set. It is done when the baby is in a good mood in daily life, for example, after changing diapers and introducing Tummy time. After that, you should gradually increase their time for Tummy time, and by 3-4 months, they should be able to do about one hour a day.
And if baby can turn over, they’ll enjoy being able to move, do Tummy time themself, and play with their toys more.