I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fun Ways to Encourage Tummy Time

Tummy time is important for an infant's development.  Here are fun ways to encourage tummy time with your little one:

1.  Put baby on your chest 

Babies enjoy being held, so lay back and put baby on your chest to enjoy some face time.  Seriously, who can resist their child's sweet face?   If baby can't tolerate being all the way on his or her tummy, lay on an angled surface.

2.  Use a Biddy Belly

I reviewed this nifty toy in a previous post: Products I Love - Biddy Belly


3.  Find a fun tummy time mat

When I had my first baby, I questioned the necessity of a tummy time mat.  However, if your child is resistant to tummy time, there are some really neat tummy time mats out there! Some have flat mirrors, while others have different textures.  Some have toys attached and others have a water-filled insert.  Find something that will capture your little one's attention and have some fun!

4.  Sensory Play

Give your little one something fun to do while on his or her tummy that also encourages sensory integration.  Here are some fun ideas:
  •  Put a toy that lights up and/or plays music in front of baby to encourage her to push up and reach while on her tummy.
  • Put a cookie sheet in front of baby and put some water or whipped cream into it to encourage exploration and splashing.  Supervise your child all all times during this activity!
  • Put a mirror or light box in front of baby to encourage visual stimulation and pushing up on his forearms or palms.
5.  Use a therapy/exercise ball

If you have an exercise ball or a peanut ball, lay your baby on the ball on his or her tummy.  Roll baby forward and back toward your face or a mirror to give him or her something interesting to look at.  On a regular ball, you can also rock baby from side to side.  Oftentimes, baby will extend his or her trunk while on the ball, encouraging prone extension for strengthening.  Please hold your child at all times while he or she is on a ball! (unlike the photo below)

photo from http://www.especialneeds.com/straight-roll.html