As a new mom, tummy time can be exciting because you get to see your baby stretching, reaching and maybe even rolling for the very first time. But as fun as it sounds, sometimes babies just don't want to cooperate or they flat out hate being on their stomachs. This means you may have to get a little creative coming up with ideas to make tummy time a little more fun for baby (and you, too!).
Here are a few tips to help you master tummy time:
1. Make sure your baby is comfortable. No one wants to exercise while wearing something restrictive. For tummy time, skip the adorable dresses, overalls or slippery footie pajamas. Instead, lay a soft blanket down and go straight diaper. Since your baby will be moving (or at least trying to) it's a good idea to choose a diaper like Huggies Little Movers, my favorite, that has stronger double grip strips to keep the diaper in place, a better fit for activity and leak protection that lasts longer. You don't want to get distracted right in the middle of a good tummy time session.
2. Join in. Get down on the floor too. When you're down on your tummy with your baby interacting, singing, laughing and talking, her attention will be held by you, and not by the fact that she's on her tummy.
3. Get creative. Need to mix it up? Try tummy time on an exercise ball. (Just make sure to be safe and keep your hands on your baby at all times.) Or if it's nice weather, take a comfy blanket and go outside for a nice change of scenery. There are so many things to see and hear, she won't even notice she's on her tummy.
4. Use a mirror (hand mirror or baby mirror). Babies are endlessly amused by their own reflection. Give your baby a mirror and she'll totally forget how hard she is working to strengthen those muscles. You may even get a few giggles out of her if you make funny faces in the mirror too.
5. Incorporate tummy time into your regular playtime or daily activities. When you do, it will feel more fun and less like a chore. I know some parents who work it in to nearly every diaper change. Choosing to make it a ritual like this is one way to help you remember.
6. Put toys within reach, or sometimes a little outside of reach.This will improve focus, drive and eventually help your baby inch forward.
Whatever you do, don't forget to be patient and try to have a little fun. To keep track of these tips, don't forget to pin this image for easy reference:
6 tips for mastering tummy time
- Engaged with your baby...get on the floor with them, talking and singing.
- Use an exercise ball--think outside the box!
- Use a mirror--babies love them!
- Make baby comfortable.
- Make it a part of your regular playtime.
- Put toys within their reach, and also a little outside their reach.