Tummy time is an essential part of a baby's development, as it helps to strengthen their neck, back, and arm muscles. It can also improve their coordination and gross motor skills, and may even help to prevent the development of flat head syndrome. While tummy time can be a challenging activity for both babies and parents, it is important to make it a part of your daily routine. In this article, we will discuss the importance of tummy time for babies and provide some ideas for what to use during tummy time, like a simple blanket, to make it a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your little one.
Let’s get right to it!
What Is Tummy Time?
Tummy time is the act of placing a baby on their stomach on the floor to practice rolling over and sitting up with their arms and legs. This activity has been around for centuries and is an important part of a baby's healthy development. However, tummy time can be challenging for babies because they are used to being held all day long. With time and practice, tummy time will become easier as your baby grows stronger and more confident. When doing tummy time, it is important to provide a soft blanket or cushion for your baby to rest on to ensure their comfort.
The Benefits And Reasons Behind Tummy Time
Now, let's discuss the reasons why tummy time is so important. You may already know that tummy time involves placing a baby on their stomach on a blanket or cushion, but did you know it can also help with their breathing? That’s because when they're holding their upper body up with their arms, there's less pressure on their chest and lungs, which helps them breathe more easily.
Here are five more reasons why tummy time is so important:
It helps with sensory development.
Babies learn to recognize their different body parts during tummy time, and this helps them develop the skills they need to explore their surroundings and interact with the world around them. This helps with sensory perception skills, including eye contact and hand-eye coordination.
It helps with motor skill development.
Tummy time is a key part of developing their neck, back, and shoulder muscles to sit up on their own, crawl more easily and stand. By practicing these movements in a safe environment, babies can learn how to roll from side to side and build up their confidence while they're still young enough to experiment without fear of falling or getting hurt!
It helps babies develop their sense of balance.
While lying on their tummy with a blanket, babies have to use their arms and legs to keep themselves from falling over—which means they're working on strengthening their core muscles at the same time! This can help them improve balance later in life when they start walking independently.
It promotes healthy vision development.
By lying on their stomach and looking around at toys and other objects, babies are able to see things from different angles, which can help with the development of their vision.
It helps them develop neck control.
When a baby is doing tummy time, they are required to lift their head and look around. This helps to strengthen the muscles in their neck, which is essential for developing neck control. As the baby's neck muscles become stronger, they will be able to lift their head more easily and hold it up for longer periods of time.
Why Do I Need a Blanket for Tummy Time?
There are several reasons why it is important to use a blanket during tummy time:
To protect the baby from germs:
When a baby is doing tummy time on the floor or in other places, their mouth may come into contact with various surfaces. Using a blanket can help to protect the baby from potentially germy items
To protect your fabrics and furnishings:
During tummy time, babies may drool or spit up, which can be messy. Using a blanket can help to protect surfaces from spills and stains.
To make cleaning easier:
Even if you have a specific mat for tummy time, it can be difficult to clean if the baby gets it dirty. Using a blanket as a quick cover is a more practical option because it is easier to clean, more versatile, and easier to transport
To roll and place it under the baby:
Rolling a blanket under a baby for tummy time can provide a number of benefits. One reason to do this is to provide a firm, comfortable surface for the baby to lie on. The blanket roll helps to lift the baby's head and chest off the ground, which can reduce strain on the neck muscles and make it easier for the baby to lift their head and chest up. This can be especially helpful for younger babies who may not have the strength or coordination to lift their head up on their own.
Rolling a blanket under a baby for tummy time can also help to promote healthy spinal alignment. By lifting the baby's head and chest off the ground, the blanket roll helps to reduce pressure on the spine and encourage proper alignment.
How to pick the best blanket for tummy time?
Did you know there are different types of tummy time blankets out there? The best baby blankets for tummy time have their own benefits and drawbacks in using them during tummy time, so here’s how you choose:
Tummy time blankets for baby girls and boys should be soft, comfortable, and large enough to fit them, but not too large.
They should also be portable so you can take them with you when traveling or visiting friends and family. If you have a large family or like to travel often with your little one then having multiple blankets is good because it allows you to not worry about washing them every day before leaving the vacation house.
They should also be machine washable because those ones tend to last longer than others – especially if they get stained from food or drinks while out in public places where there isn’t always access to a washroom available right away.
Our muslin swaddles, by the way, are made for excellent tummy time blankets because they're made from 100% cotton muslin that's soft against your baby's skin while also being machine washable! These versatile blankets are also wonderful as a stroller cover, nursing cover, or burp cloth so you'll definitely have more practical uses in just one purchase. Money-saver!
Do you need a mat to pair with a blanket for tummy time?
You do not need a mat specifically for tummy time, but a simple blanket can be used to create a clean surface for the baby to be on. A mat can provide extra cushioning to make the floor softer for the baby, but it is not necessary. Tummy time can also be done on other surfaces such as on a bed or on an adult's chest, as long as the baby is supervised and the surface is safe.
How do I keep my baby entertained during tummy time?
There are a few ways you can keep your baby entertained during tummy time:
- Provide toys for the baby to reach for and play with. This can help keep them engaged and encourage them to lift their head and chest up.
- Get down on the floor with your baby and play with them. You can make funny faces, sing songs, or talk to them to keep their attention.
- Place a mirror in front of the baby so they can see themselves. This can be entertaining for some babies as they try to make sense of their own reflection.
- Change the location of tummy time. Try doing tummy time in different rooms of the house, or outside on a blanket. This can help keep the baby's interest and provide a change of scenery.
- Take breaks as needed. If the baby becomes frustrated or tired, take a break and try again later. Tummy time is important, but it's okay to take breaks as needed.
How do you roll a blanket for tummy time?
To roll a blanket for tummy time, follow these steps:
- Lay the blanket out flat on a clean surface.
- Fold the blanket in half lengthwise so that the two shorter ends meet.
- Roll the blanket up tightly, starting at one of the shorter ends and rolling towards the other.
- When you reach the end of the blanket, tuck the end underneath the roll to secure it in place.
- The roll should be firm and evenly shaped, with no lumps or bumps.
- Place the roll on the floor and place the baby on top of it with their belly facing down.
- The roll will help support the baby while their arms are getting strong enough to hold themselves up.
It's important to make sure that the roll is not too thick or too thin, as it should provide a firm but comfortable surface for the baby to lie on. The roll should also be placed on a clean and safe surface, such as a floor or a play mat.
So there you have it— you now have all the information you need in picking the best blanket for tummy time. To sum it up, tummy time is a great way to help your baby develop motor skills, strengthen their neck and back muscles, and learn how to move around. And the right blanket will make it easier for them to work on their tummy time skills by providing comfort as well as support.
We hope this guide has helped you find the perfect blanket for your little one, and we wish you all the best as you navigate your way through this amazing new chapter in your life! If you liked this article please share it with your friends and family so they can enjoy it too! And if you haven't already followed us on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, feel free to do it so we can stay connected and keep having fun in your baby’s journey together!
When should you start tummy time?
Tummy time is an important activity for infants as it helps to strengthen their neck, back, and shoulder muscles and promotes healthy development. It is generally recommended to start tummy time as soon as possible after birth, even if it is just for a few minutes at a time. As the baby gets older and stronger, you can gradually increase the duration of tummy time.
In the first few weeks of life, it is common for babies to resist tummy time or to tire quickly. This is normal, and it is important to start with short sessions and gradually increase the length of time as the baby gets stronger. It is also okay to take breaks and try again later if the baby becomes frustrated or tired.
It is generally recommended to aim for at least 15-20 minutes of tummy time per day, spread out over several sessions. However, it is important to listen to your baby's cues and adjust the duration and frequency of tummy time accordingly. It is always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician.
How often should you do Tummy Time?
It is generally recommended to aim for at least 15-20 minutes of tummy time per day, spread out over several sessions. This can be done all at once or in shorter increments throughout the day. It is important to listen to your baby's cues and adjust the duration and frequency of tummy time accordingly. If the baby is able to tolerate longer periods of tummy time, you can gradually increase the duration of the sessions.
It is also important to vary the types of activities you do during tummy time, such as reaching for toys, playing with mirrors, and interacting with adults. This can help to keep the baby engaged and promote healthy development.
If you have any concerns about your baby's development or ability to do tummy time, it is always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician. They can provide guidance on the appropriate frequency and duration of tummy time for your baby.
What happens if you don’t do Tummy Time?
Tummy time is an important activity for infants as it helps to strengthen their neck, back, and shoulder muscles and promotes healthy development. If a baby does not have enough tummy time, they may miss out on these important developmental benefits.
Not having enough tummy time can also lead to delays in a baby's motor skills, such as crawling and sitting up. It can also contribute to a flattening of the back of the head (positional plagiocephaly) due to prolonged pressure on the back of the head while lying on the back. This can be prevented by regularly providing tummy time and varying the positions in which the baby sleeps and plays.
What to do if my baby cries during Tummy Time?
It is normal for babies to cry or fuss during tummy time, especially if they are not used to being in this position. Here are a few things you can try if your baby cries during tummy time:
If the baby becomes upset, take a break and try again later. You can start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration as the baby becomes more comfortable.
Place a rolled up blanket or a small pillow under the baby's chest to help lift their head and shoulders off the ground. This can help to reduce the strain on their neck muscles and make them more comfortable.
Make it fun:
Engage the baby with toys, songs, and games to help keep their interest and distract them from any discomfort. You can try a change of scenery by taking them outside on a nice day.
It may take some time for the baby to get used to tummy time. Be patient and encourage them to try new things. You can start slowly by reclining slightly when burping them. Then gradually recline more until they are laying horizontally on you. Listen to their cues and stop if they become too upset.
If the baby continues to cry and appears to be in distress, stop tummy time and consult with your pediatrician. They can assess the baby's comfort and ability to tolerate tummy time and provide guidance on how to proceed.