Tummy time is an important activity for babies where they can begin to strengthen their neck, shoulder, and back muscles. Not all babies enjoy tummy time automatically, however (it is a new challenge, after all). Here are some tummy time play ideas to make it fun and engaging for your baby:
Use toys that have different textures and shapes, such as soft blocks, crinkle toys, and teethers to encourage your baby to reach and grab. High contrast toys and cards are the most engaging for young babies because they will be easy to see, and visible from a distance. The Tummy Time Gallery is a great option because it can prop up or be laid flat, has a black side and a white side, embroidered textures, lovely illustrations, and pocket to rotate and change imagery as baby grows.
Babies love to investigate their reflection, even though they don’t yet associate it with cause and effect. Place a mirror in front of your baby during tummy time to provide visual stimulation and encourage them to lift their head and look around.
Use a playmat or activity pad with different textures, such as a plush mat or a mat with raised shapes, embroidery, and black and white art to provide added stimulation.
Get down on the floor with your baby and play with them during tummy time to make it more interactive and enjoyable.
Place a small rolled-up blanket under your baby's chest to prop them up and make it easier for them to lift their head.
Safety tips to keep in mind during tummy time:
Always supervise your baby during tummy time to ensure they don't roll over or get into a position where they can't breathe.
Start with short periods of tummy time (about 2-3 minutes) and gradually increase the duration as your baby gets stronger.
Make sure your baby is on a firm, flat surface during tummy time and that there are no loose objects or toys that could pose a choking hazard.
Avoid using tummy time as a way to soothe a fussy baby.
Overall, Tummy time is an important and beneficial activity for babies, but it is important to make sure to do it safely, with proper supervision and with stimulating activities and visuals that baby can explore.