Tummy Time

Why?

Providing opportunities for your baby to spend time on their tummy is important for the development of their neck, back and shoulder muscles. Developing these muscles will help children when they are learning to roll over, sit independently and eventually crawl and walk. These muscles all help to develop your baby’s gross motor skills.

What you need?

  • Soft rug or blanket to lay on the floor or ground
  • A variety of soft toys for baby to play with and reach for

Instructions

1. Place your baby on their tummy on a blanket; sit beside them and reassure them. If your baby becomes distressed, pick them up and reassure them, but remember to try it again as this is an essential skill your baby must master.

2. Many babies are not happy when initially placed on their tummies, but as they develop greater muscle control they become more confident and can hold their head and shoulders up for longer periods of time.

3. Place objects just at arm’s length. As your baby becomes more confident, place a toy in front of them and encourage them to reach for it.

Tip

Patterned rugs stimulate babies’ visual interest. You can also make an activity mat with different textures and materials.

Extension of the activity

  • Spread a variety of objects across the rug at different intervals, but still within a baby’s reach.
  • Make sure there is plenty of space around each baby.
  • Use sensory toys for touch, sight and sound. A toy that makes noise will keep baby’s interest longer.

Language Structure / Keywords

Offer words of encouragement to your baby.