Tips for Tummy Time
Discussing the Importance of Tummy Time with Rivka Lev. Pediatric physical therapist & Parent mentor
Crawl, sit, stand, walk, run. At the core of these milestones is tummy time. “Tummy time” is the essential time a baby needs on their stomach to develop strength in the neck, arms, back, and other critical body parts. And yet, parents face countless struggles to make tummy time a pleasant experience for their babies. Most babies cry while on their stomachs because the position is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. However, this is the precise movement a baby needs to build core stability and stay on track for physical development.
Starting Tummy Time On Day One
Parents debate the “right” moment to introduce tummy time to their babies. However, pediatric physical therapist, Rivka Lev recommends that parents put babies on their tummies on Day One. Introducing tummy time to babies right from the start creates familiarity. Lev argues that waiting five to seven months for tummy time can confuse babies as they may try to sit before they crawl or stand before they sit. Starting tummy time on Day One also helps with the baby’s digestive system and can prevent one-sided preference, which experts do not recommend until about three years of age.
Balancing Support and Encouragement
Crying during tummy time is inevitable. When parents come to Lev for advice, she asks them one question: do you want your baby to be strong? If the answer is yes, Lev stresses that parents take the time to hold, hug, and motivate their babies while empathizing. Then, parents must put their babies right back on their tummies. Creating a balance between support and encouragement is key. If parents “baby” their baby too much, growth is impossible.
Another feasible solution Lev suggests is to diversify positions. For example, a parent can lie near the baby face to face, place the baby on his or her chest, or set the baby on a bed while the parent sits on the floor. Ensuring babies can see parents eye-to-eye during tummy time is vital. One tip Lev has for parents is to incorporate tummy time on walks outside. Babies love to watch nature, and perhaps the scenic views act as a distraction for babies during this essential development period.
Bringing Elora Into the Mix
The uncertainty usually arises when Lev asks parents how much time their baby spends on their tummy. This uncertainty is where the Elora baby wellness monitor comes into play. Our device helps track tummy time so you can see the progression of your baby. Lev emphasizes that wrongs do not exist during development. However, let us help you keep your baby on track.