It’s never too early for tummy time- in fact, you can start tummy time as early as the first week back home! Contrary to what many people think, you don't have to wait until your baby can hold their head up before starting tummy time. We've summarized 5 key things to keep in mind when you try tummy time.
1. Try skin-to-skin tummy time
After feeding or after a diaper change, lay on your back and place your baby on your chest. Not only is it good tummy time practice, skin-to-skin contact and listening to your heart beat is a great way to soothe your baby and build trust.
2. Short sessions
Place your baby on a baby playmat. Start with several one to two minute tummy time sessions. As your baby gets used to it, you can include more sessions throughout the day.
3. Neck tightness
Your baby will likely not be able to hold their head up during tummy time until months 2 or 3. They’ll probably have a preference for which side they face their head when they lay down. Help them switch sides from time to time to prevent their neck muscles from tightening.
Instead of laying your baby on their belly, prop them up with a pillow and lay them on their side. You can use some high-contrast visuals to capture their attention. After a while, switch them to the other side.
5. Use interesting toys
Your baby can get a little restless during tummy time. Use interesting baby toys such as high-contrast visuals to capture their attention.
Tummy time is the foundation of many future skills and learning opportunities. It’s important to allow your baby to strengthen their muscles and get used to playing in this position.