Tummy Time: Why Your Baby Needs It

Once your baby is capable of holding up his or her head, it is important that you start giving your baby tummy time each day. Allowing your infant to spend time on his or her tummy can help your baby learn new skills that would otherwise not be possible if you spent all day holding your infant or laying him or her in a baby seat or crib. However, you may feel guilty about putting your child down for tummy time and be tempted to cut short this play time on the floor. Because you might have doubts about this activity’s importance, you should take into consideration several benefits of daily tummy time for your baby.


Tummy Time Strengthens Muscles

During the first few months of your baby’s life, he or she will not have good control over his or her head and neck. Your baby’s head will wobble and fall forward as your infant learns to hold up his or her head. When you place your baby on the floor for this activity, however, your infant will develop the strong neck muscles he or she needs for good head and neck control.


Tummy Time Stokes a Baby’s Curiosity

When you place your baby on a play gym or play mat, he or she cannot help but be intrigued by the soft and colorful toys attached to this equipment. Seeing the brightly colored animals, the patterned squares and circles, and watching the lights of the play gym equipment will excite him and prompt him to kick, wave, and exercise his muscles. These brightly colored toys also provide an incentive for your child to learn about and reach for these objects. Your child will grow in intelligence and strength with daily tummy time.


Tummy Time and Learning to Roll Over

A baby who is kept in a crib, bassinet, or infant seat all day has no incentive to learn to roll over. This vital skill should be a milestone toward which all parents want their babies to progress. Placing your baby on a play mat every day will help your child learn this important skill. This basic move is a stepping stone on which he or she will add other skills, like crawling and pulling himself or herself up off the floor.


Tummy Time and Crawling

As your baby’s muscles grow stronger through this daily exercise, it will be no time at all before your infant figures out how to pull himself or herself up on all fours. Figuring out how to pull up into a crawling position will make them eager to rock back and forth on their haunches, and then eventually learn to crawl. Without tummy time, your baby may miss this important development marker.


While you may feel guilty about placing your child on the floor to play, you should know that tummy time is a vital daily activity that should be part of your infant’s everyday life. Playing on his or her stomach can help your baby reach important developmental milestones and learn to be independent.

Melanie Fleury is the proud mother of four children who loved tummy time to varying degrees. She found that  http://www.kidsii.com/brightstarts/c-11-play-gyms-and-play-mats.aspx offered play gyms and play mats that make it fun to be on your tummy, and that Kids II baby gyms are a great way for a baby to be entertained and stimulated.

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