Baby Betterment: Tummy Time Tips

This entry is part 16 of 33 in the series Baby Days

Tummy TIme

We all know that our little babies grow and develop so fast, it seems like a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-stage of life, but really there are a LOT of hours in the day.  I know as a new mom, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my tiny baby’s development.  I wasn’t playing and talking enough.  I wasn’t singing enough.  Basically, I felt like if there was silence in the house while she was awake, I was wasting precious development opportunities.  I struggled to fill the time with lots and lots of activities to stimulate her.

So I came up with all sorts of things to do with her even when she couldn’t really get much out of it.  But the development came fast and furious.  And to be honest, it would have anyway.

Well, along comes baby number two and all the same old feelings are back.  I feel like she is not getting enough stimulation because I am constantly running after her older sister.  I worry she isn’t getting enough time on her tummy, enough goos and gahs, etc.

So, I resolved to create some sort of routine for her and it started with tummy time.  Tummy time is critical to the development of so many of the muscles we take for granted.  It is essential to a growing baby’s day.

But, let’s be real: not every baby loves it.

And our second is just not that into it.  But here are the tips and techniques I have from my experience with two little ones:

Just do it. 

You might have to put up with some fussing and a little bit of crying, but be sure to make it a priority in your little one’s day.  We started our little ones on a routine of time on their tummies 1-2 times a day for about 3-5 minutes, each time.  We did this as soon as they lost their umbilical cords.  As they grow used to the tummy time and start to enjoy it, you can make the time a little bit longer but start small.

Make it a sensory experience.

tips for tummy time with your baby

Switch up the fabrics of blankets you lay your little one on.  Switch up the surface (bed, carpet, rug), as well. You can also change it up by putting a small pillow underneath her (we like the Boppy pillow for this) .  Talk to your little one about the soft blanket or the bumpy blanket.  This is the baby’s first experience with textures, so make it varied.

Provide incentive.

Place a small fabric book (we have a list of our favorite books for babies here) that is age appropriate underneath your little one so she has something to look at while she is on her tummy.  As she gets bigger and starts grasping toys, place a toy just slightly out of reach in front of her (or to the side) and encourage her to grab it.  If you are trying to work on getting her to hold her head up higher, use a musical toy and place it above and in front of her to get her attention.

Get down there too.

tummy time tips -

It is no fun to do it alone, so we make it a family experience. When our little one is on her tummy, her big sister does it too and brings all her stuffed animals along for the fun. Mom and Dad are there too to smile big and ohh and ahh over how much she is growing.

Encourage Liberally.

simple tummy time baby play tips

I know our little one does not know exactly what I am saying, but I hope that some of the first words she hears are words of encouragement.  Thus, I try to encourage her by telling her, “Good job!” and “Look how strong you are getting.”  I also tell her that she only has a little bit more, when she gets a little fussy.  I rub her gently on her back to let her know I am there with her and she has not been left to suffer this fate alone.

As time goes on with our little one who didn’t really like tummy time; she has started to enjoy it!  And I can see the results of her hard work paying off in strong core muscles!

I hope these tips help you with your little one.  Please let me know your tips for tummy time with your baby.

5 tips for tummy time with baby

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Cindy

    Thanks for the tips. My second child is 6 months old and I am also feeling that guilt over not doing enough for her. Having a big brother helps but sometimes I’m at a loss for what to do next. Your tips are greatly appreciated!

    1. ussleah

      I am glad to share the tips! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! How far apart are your little ones? Ours are 16 months apart, so wrangling them both can be a task. But I have noticed the older one really stepping up and entertaining her sister lately. Such a sweet thing to watch!

  2. kaci

    I have three boys all under the age of 4. Since having my third I feel the same always fixing meals for the older boys or chasing them. I really appriciate your tips and will try to incorporate it more as part of an everyday routine.

  3. Ashlee

    Great tips! My daughter hated tummy time and I wish I would have had some tips to help out! Pinning! : )

    1. ussleah

      Thanks, Ashlee! Yes, we had one that loved and one that hated tummy time, so we had to get creative! Hope they help with your next one!

  4. I just flipped my 6-week twins over for tummy time because of your “just do it.”
    🙂 I am the worst at making time for this! But it’s so good for them. Thanks for the tips.

    Stopping over from SITS Sharefest. I saw the title of this article and was like, omg this was written for me. 😉

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