Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tummy Time for Reef Indy

What is tummy time and why is it important
 to your infant's development? 


Reef Indy - Ready for Tummy Time
Reef Indy - Ready for Tummy Time

Today marks Reef Indy’s first month. This month has been both busy and joyful. What a delight it has been learning to communicate with the infant. Loving the grandbaby was easy and came so naturally.

Reef Indy’s first month birthday started Omas thinking about “Tummy Time”

During tummy time, the baby lays on his belly to play while you supervise. Since your baby sleeps on his back to help prevent sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), he needs to spend some of his awake time on his stomach to develop physically and mentally.

The Benefits

On his tummy, Reef Indy will lift his head, which strengthens both the neck and upper back muscles. Tummy time also gives your little one a different view of the world.

“Babies need to learn how to support their heads when they are still, says Tanya Altmann, MD, a pediatrician in California. “They also need to be able to turn their head in response to what's happening around them and hold their heads steady when they're moved."

Lastly, spending time on his stomach will also help Reef Indy’s head become round instead of developing flat spots on the back of his head.

When to Start

“Tummy time can begin right after birth or definitely by the time your baby is a month old.” According to Chris Tolchis, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician in California,

For the first few weeks, you may want to delay tummy time until his umbilical cord stump falls off. As long as your baby is comfortable, though, you can safely let his play on his stomach right away.

How Frequently and for How Long

Some pediatricians suggest having your baby play on his stomach five to ten minutes a couple times a day. However, there are no set amount of time.

"I usually recommend starting to offer tummy time at least once per day," says Scott Cohen, MD, FAAP, an attending pediatrician at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. He suggests leaving your baby on his tummy as long as he accepts it – be it fifteen seconds or fifteen minutes.

Some babies initially resist tummy time because they don't have good control and find it hard to lift their heads. But the more practice your baby gets, the better he’ll like it.

How to Make Tummy Time Fun

Turning tummy time into playtime is as easy as lying on your belly and facing your baby, Jana says. Tips for making Reef Indy's tummy workout fun:
  • When your baby can't support his own head yet, put his on your chest tummy down. Or put his across your lap on his stomach for burping.
  • Get on the floor with your baby. "Make faces, talk to them, get a tummy time mat, and hold colorful toys or a rattle in front of them." Cohen says.
  • Encourage your baby to look up by talking or singing above his head.
  • Place your baby next to a mirror or musical box -- or something else he’ll want to reach for.
  • Place your baby's upper body and arms over a nursing pillow. This elevation gives a nice view and may be more comfortable.
  • If your baby starts to fuss, divert his attention. Turn him on his back, then blow "raspberries" on his tummy. Flip his onto his stomach and make the same raucous noises on his back. That’s distraction at its silly best.
  • Some parents suggest waiting an hour after your baby eats to start tummy time, for the baby's comfort and for mom and dad -- less spit up to clean up!

Tummy Time Trouble Makers

Some babies have strong opinions about being on their stomachs. After all, tummy time is hard work! Just keep trying . . . Reef Indy will meet this milestone when he is ready. It is part of Oma’s job to give him the opportunity to make tummy time "a fun part of every day."

   

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