Tummy Time Help by: Cherrie of NuBaby Toronto

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'd like to introduce to you Cherrie, an Early Childhood Educator and founder of NuBaby.  I first met Cherrie when Charlie was a little baby and we were going to Mother Craft.
We look forward to having Cherrie on Everything Mom and Baby and if you have any questions, feel free to email Cherrie and Like her page on Facebook!

What is Nubaby?
NuBaby is the ultimate destination for hip and trendy parent and baby classes. Nubaby is proud to offer a variety of classes for parents and their lil ones to bond and enjoy the journey of growing and learning together. Parents can socialize, and connect with their babies and others in their community; While babies can do what they do best - make noise, move about, play, discover, and explore.

Too see what classes are offered please visit NuBaby.

Tummy Time Help
by: Cherri

"My baby hates tummy time!" How many of you have said that recently? Well you are not alone! This is probably the most common comment I hear from parents. So why do they not like it and what can we do?

Why does my baby not like tummy time?
Well, newborn babies often have a difficult time with being on their tummies because it is simply uncomfortable. Pretend for a minute that you are a newborn baby who hasn't quite learned to turn your head from side to side, and lie on your tummy on the floor. How do you feel? Chances are you'll feel squished to the ground with limited vision of table legs and feet....not very exciting is it?
So you might think to yourself, well once my baby learns to move his head and maybe even hold his chest up with his arms, then he should LoOOoove tummy time right?!? Wrong!!!
Babies like to do what is familiar to them, and parents like to do what makes baby happy - that's just our natural instinct! So chances are, if she cried and fussed when we put her on her tummy, we didn't put her in that position often. Instead we might have kept her happy by using modern day holding devices such as: the exersaucer, jumper or bouncer, or maybe even held her up to standing while she tries to stand and balance on her weak little legs. And since that seems to work…because we all look for whatever works to help us get through our day…the cycle continues leaving little opportunity for tummy time.
Babies being in the upright position all the time get to take in a lot of stimuli. Now imagine all of the interesting sights being taken away as you get plopped onto your belly on the floor.  Of course you will get some protesting!
What can we do?
So if tummy time is not a favorite, don't worry, there are things that you can do to make it more enjoyable.
#1: Ease him in gently. Start with tummy time for a short period, let's say for 1 min, and slowly increase the intervals. Try to watch for signs of him being all done and pick him up before he starts fussing giving lots of praise and reinforcement for him doing such a great job on his tummy. Babies aim to please! So if he knows you like it, he will keep doing it - in moderation of course.
#2: Get down on the floor with her! Lie on your tummy beside or across from her so that she can see you. Keep her engaged with games such as peek-a-boo or small toys and that will help take her mind off of the dreaded tummy time.
If you have a newborn or a baby not quite holding their head up yet:
- Lie him on your chest while lounging on the couch. It’s great bonding time, and the fact that you are close by makes him feel safe. It will give him his favorite thing to look at too….YOU!  If he has reflux, prop yourself up with a pillow behind your back to create an incline.
- Believe it or not, babywearing is also considered tummy time as she is engaging her core muscles while being carried: strengthening her abs, neck, back and leg muscles, and it keeps her off her back to reduce flat head syndrome. Two things checked of your list at once. Bonus!  So throw on your favorite Je Porte Mon Bebe or emeibaby carrier and go for a walk!
If your baby can comfortably hold their head up or can sit on their own:
- Put a bolster under his armpits while he is on his tummy. A nursing pillow or a rolled up towel will work as well. This will give him more support and will relieve some of the pressure
- Lie her on top of an exercise ball on her tummy and bounce, rock and sway. Beach balls work great as well. But please pay extra attention to safety!!!
- Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes offer a variety of tummy and back poses for her to strengthen her muscles naturally…you might even get a giggle or two at the same time! Bye-bye tears.

As babies have more practice being on their bellies and gain more control over their bodies, tummy time will get easier and easier, so don't be discouraged. If you have other tummy time tips, please do share....we'd love to hear from you!

Cherrie is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and Founder of NuBaby. More child development tips available on NuBaby or "like" us on Facebook.T


Ashley said...

We had one who LOVED tummy time and one who hated it. They both had it, and I'm glad we persisted with the one who protested!

Gabrielle said...

Great tips! We have a Boppy playmat that came with a miniature Boppy pillow to prop the baby on. It's wonderful for laying the baby on his back or belly. My daughter also uses it to nurse her baby dolls when mommy nurses her little brother.

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