Tummy time: It’s not just about fun

There is nothing cuter than watching your little one on their tummy, pull their head up and check out the world around them.

That moment when they have the strength to hold up their head with their brand-new neck. Self-confessed lover of all things baby, Rachel McKenzie, founder of Babee & Me, said like all things we learn from scratch, it takes time to build up that strength. “When my boys were little, I started slowly with tummy time. A couple of minutes every day until their strength increases,” she said.

“It is so important for so many reasons especially if you want to prevent flat spots on your baby’s head. It is also an important part of the development process.

“You’ve heard the saying ‘you got to crawl; before you can walk,” … well, there is reason for that is tummy time is what kicks of crawling, which leads to walking. Tummy time builds the strength in the neck and arms, strengthens the muscles of the neck, shoulders, arms, and belly. This leads to rolling, pushing up, crawling and walking.”

Rachel said she started with skin-to-skin. “It was such a special time, gazing into each other’s eyes.,” she said. “This helped both of us build confidence. Our next move was to the lap.

“The most important thing is to have fun. O even though baby is learning new skills, and getting those neurons firing, the toys and playmats made it fun.”

“I found a lot of the toys and playmats were mass produced; that’s why I made my own., I wanted my babies’ skin to be protected.”

Rachel said she learnt some valuable lessons during the tummy time phase. “It is good to start tummy time early,” she said.

“If baby has older siblings, let them join in the fun. Babies learn from everyone. So encourage everyone to get down on the mat to play.

“It’s also important to have lots of textures, colour and softness to provide tactile stimulation.

“Like everyone mum knows, don’t push it especially if your little one is tired. You want them to enjoy the play on the tummy. If bub hates it, just try gain another day.”

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BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.

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