The whole point in tummy time is to help increase strength in areas such as the neck, back, and arms. Eventually your child will gain the strength to fully lift their head while on their tummy and even begin to roll over. And of course the next step is to gradually propel them forward as they develop the coordination for crawling. However, we all know tummy time is not every baby’s favorite activity! A few weeks ago we talked about some basic ways to target tummy time (e.g. – putting your baby on your chest, using a pillow for support, etc.). Now we have listed a couple ways to make tummy time more fun (and bearable)…
Sliding – This is one of my favorite moves since it makes tummy time – a not so enjoyable activity – enjoyable! We get plenty of deliveries these days, so you can use one of the cardboard boxes to cut out a rectangle bigger than your baby and have them do tummy time on it. Then you can gradually try to pull your baby forward and backward… their version of a roller coaster ride! The forward movement actually shows them what crawling will be like one day. Therefore, it is a great way to build body awareness and prepare them for what is ahead. Make sure their arms are in front of them or to their sides during the activity. You can also use a sheet to do this!
Bouncy Ball – This activity definitely stops the monotony of regular tummy time. Simply get an exercise ball and place your infant on top of the ball on their tummy. You can move them side-to-side and front to back. The further forward you make them go the harder it is and the more strength it requires. You may need to hold them firmly in place at first for extra support, but then lessen the amount of support as they get used to it. Trust me, I tried it with my little one that dislikes tummy time and it was a hit!
Chalkboard & Magnetic Paint – These days they think of everything! We have one of his bedroom walls painted with chalkboard paint and his door painted with magnetic paint – why didn’t they have this when we were growing up? ☺ We put some transportation decals up and drew streets with chalk on the chalkboard wall. These high contrast and colorful pictures are perfect for tummy time! He is able to focus on them for a long time, which is great for promoting head control.
The magnetic door has colorful magnetic letters and numbers that have been extremely motivating for Roman too! It’s also great to talk about what your child is seeing as they are looking at it for additional language input.