Tummy time is such an important part of your child’s development – it’s the first step to laying a strong foundation for future milestones. Lifting their head helps to form their cervical (neck) curve, stimulate the brain stem and aid in muscle development.
When should you start?
From three weeks of age, I suggest rolling your Baby onto their front every time you change their nappy, for just 30 seconds (every bit counts!), and two longer sessions skin-to-skin. As they get stronger, you can increase the amount of time and frequency.
It can be difficult to give your baby the opportunity to be on their front, especially with lots of family and friends wanting cuddles – try to encourage them to hold bub in the below variations!
What if my child doesn’t like it?
They may be fine for a few minutes and then get irritated, which is ok – work within your baby’s range. If your baby doesn’t like being on their front, there may be a subtle shift in the alignment of their spine causing the discomfort, so it’s best to chat to your Chiropractor to see how we can help.
- Tiger in the tree: Place your baby, front-down, on your forearm with your other hand gently supporting their back. Your baby will be more secure if their head is near the crook of your elbow. You may also do little inversions in this position, which will encourage your baby to lift their head.
- Across your lap: While sitting, place your baby front-down across your lap, using one hand to support their back. You may also do little inversions by lifting one of your legs so you are on your toes, rocking between your left and right leg.
- Shin hold: While sitting on the floor, bend your knees with feet together and flat on the floor. Place your baby front-down on the ‘ramp’ that you have created with your shins. Your baby’s head should be near your knees.
- Exercise ball: If you still have your trusty exercise ball that you sat on during your pregnancy, keep it inflated! Place your baby on their front on the ball, holding them securely. You may also do a slight rock, forward and backwards.
- Skin-to-skin: Chest-to-chest and chat with your baby to encourage them to lift their head.
–Dr Ami-Bree Said
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