Do you know what Tummy Time is? It’s an English term for that simple moment that’s part of babies’ daily lives: to stand on your stomach! There is no specific translation for this expression, the closest would be: to play on your stomach.
This simple custom, often instinctively practiced by parents, brings many benefits to the motor development of the little ones, you know? Leaving the baby belly down can be a great stimulus for new discoveries!
Before you start explaining more on the subject, an essential warning: make sure your baby is in a good mood and awake! During Tummy Time, the little one should be under supervision at all times.
Another orientation is that, according to the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), the child should sleep belly up, especially until 4 months of age. After this period, in case the child can turn around and turn around on its own, the situation is different.
Why leave the baby on his stomach?
Although simple, this practice offers many advantages for the baby! Standing on your stomach is equivalent to great exercise for the little ones, as it strengthens several muscles. Check out the benefits of Tummy Time:
– It strengthens the neck muscles as it improves head control and also helps the cognitive system evolve, as the baby naturally begins to lift his head and thus perceive the world around him!
– Prevents Flathead Syndrome.
– Fortifies the arms and hands for the moment to crawl and hold objects.
– It helps develop hip muscles and strengthens the abdominal region, which helps with problems such as colic and relieves the discomfort caused by gas and constipation.
– Develops the posture, aligns the spine and tones up the back muscles!
All these gestures seem trivial, but are super important milestones for the full growth of babies, stimulating fundamental activities such as sitting, crawling and walking.
What happens when the baby is belly up?
In this position, the little one feels the need to lift his neck to observe around! First, the little one uses his forearms as support and then his hands. In time, he learns to lean on his tummy and so the baby stays in position four supports! The posture necessary for him to crawl.
How do you practice Tummy Time?
At first, playing face down may not be pleasant for some babies! So start with a few seconds, then a few minutes, until you get used to the position. In case the little one feels uncomfortable, it is better to stop and try again later! Take your time. As the newborn grows and strengthens, he will enjoy being more face down and the Tummy Time sessions can increase in time.
Some tips to make Tummy Time safe and correct
Daddies, your bed is not a good one! Choose a firm, straight surface that presents no risk of falling. It might even be on the floor with some soft mat. At this point, it’s worth using toys, mirrors and books to arouse your love’s curiosity!
For starters, a fun tip is to play “little plane” with the little one. That way, he gets used to being on his lap. Leaving the baby under Mum or Dad’s tummy is also an interesting way for him to develop this habit. Remember that in these cases, you have to pay close attention as it’s not as safe when he’s on the ground!
Important information: to leave it on its face, wait at least 40 minutes after the feed!
Are accessories to “help” baby’s development necessary?
Some families still use walkers and other equipment to “encourage” faster psychomotor growth. But instead of helping, these items make the child skip developmental stages, preventing him from crawling and taking more time for him to stand!
These accessories don’t help at all, on the contrary! They limit and distract the baby at this important stage of learning to control his movements. This “pseudo-safety” sensation that the baby walker transmits to the little ones hinders the development of a healthy musculature, which is formed from the voluntary movement that the baby performs early in life.
That’s why Tummy Time is so important! By lying on his stomach, the little one is free to develop at his own pace! In this way, he gets stronger, exploits and gets to know his movements with safety and self initiative.
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