How to: have tummy time

When Elphie was four weeks I thought I had failed her. Before that point I thought I was supposed to keep her on her back all the time to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – more commonly known as cot death). But it seemed I was supposed to be giving her “tummy time” lying her on her tummy while awake to play and strengthen her neck, back and leg muscles to eventually help her to crawl. Doing this also apparently helps reduce the risk of SIDS as she can then move her head away from anything smothering her or roll away from it. Although back then the rolling just seemed to put her in danger as if laid on a slight incline she was determined to roll off the sofa onto the floor (I caught her before this happened luckily!).

This tummy time business is aiming to contribute to the following developmental milestones – being able to:

  • Lift their head and hold it off the ground (1-2 months)
  • Push their shoulders off the ground with their arms (3 months)
  • Push their chest off the ground with their arms (4-5 months)
  • Roll over (4-6 months)
  • Crawl (6-9 months)
  • Elphie can lift her shoulders off the ground so I reckon she’s got her tummy time in somehow!

    Babycenter has a really great video on different positions to do tummy time in beyond the scream-inducing “put her down on her front anywhere” method, including:

  • Putting your baby’s arms so they are supporting the chin
  • Putting a rolled up blanket under their arms as support
  • Across the lap with their belly dangling
  • Tummy to tummy – straight on your chest (we do a lot of that so perhaps that was enough tummy time for her)
  • Held horizontally with chest supported by one arm and belly by the other through the legs
  • And my new favourite: the aeroplane!
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    Fabulously demonstrated by momstown Toronto, who also have some awesome aeroplane songs to sing along to your baby’s flying time, such as (to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle):

    Baby, baby way up high
    Like an airplane in the sky
    Flying high and flying low
    A great big kiss from down below
    Baby, baby way up high
    Like and airplane in the sky

    Elphie will definitely be getting her wings!

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