TUMMY (PRONE) TIME
Why is tummy time important for babies? Tummy time will strengthen baby’s neck, shoulder, arm and back muscles. Baby uses these muscles to move around.
Baby will see the world from different angles, which helps with brain development.
It will also help to prevent a flat spot from developing on baby’s head (plagiocephaly).
As soon as you are home from hospital, you can start tummy time play. Just lay a blanket on the floor and place baby tummy down. You can roll up a towel or nappy and place under baby’s armpits and chest to give more support. Baby will be able to lift his/her head more easily if proped up on elbows.
Do tummy time twice each day for a couple of minutes each time. Baby may not like this to start with and may be unsettled or only able to tolerate a very short time like this. But persevere each day as it is so good for baby.
As an easy start, carry baby over your shoulder or arm to get him/her used to this position. Also place baby on your chest as baby can look at you and play with you.
Remember to never leave baby alone when having tummy time. Get down to baby’s level on the floor and talk and sing to him/her.
Once baby is 2 – 3 months old, they can stay on their tummy for 10 – 15 minutes. They will also be able to life their head up and look around.
Key Strategies To Ensure A Fun And Successful Tummy Playtime:
* Choose a comfortable time when your baby is alert
* Try a variety of tummy positions
* Interact with your baby
For further information call Sids and Kids® on 1300 308 307 or visit their website http://www.sidsandkids.org
Always have all of your bathing equipment and clothing ready before you start. Fill your baby bath with warm water and test the temperature by dipping your elbow into the water. The water shouldn’t be too hot or too cold, but just a warm temperature. Ensure that the room where you are bathing baby is warm and draught free. Have all of your equipment ready to go. Wrap baby in a towel and first wash and then dry the hair. Once this is done, you can place baby into the bath. Hold baby under his/her arm as indicated in the picture below. Be careful as baby may be very slippery.
Your baby should get to love bath time. It’s a great job to allocate to baby’s father as this can be really special Dad/baby bonding time. Ensure that baby is well dried off paying special attention to the creases under the neck, under arms and behind knees.
A baby moisture cream may be used for dry skin. Never use baby oil as this is petrochemical based. Only use natural organic products on baby.
Spend as much one on one time with your baby as you can. Perhaps bath time could become a regular bonding experience for your baby’s father to do. This will be special dad and baby bonding time which is priceless.
Always dress your baby in clean comfortable clothing. If you are feeling cold then your baby probably is feeling cold also, so put on another layer. If you are feeling hot then your baby is probably feeling hot, so take off a layer. Put your hand down on to baby’s chest and feel if baby is warm, that’s a great way to tell. Remember that when your baby sleeps his/her body temperature will drop so ensure baby has enough layers of blankets to stay warm without being overheated.
WRAPPING – SWADDLING
Alot of babies swill love to be wrapped/swaddled. This is easy to do and the diagram explains very clear how to do this. If you can’t follow the diagram, don’t worry, there really is no right or wrong way, as long as baby is covered it doesn’t have to be exactly as in the diagram. Some babies will not like having their arms wrapped and will wriggle them out. If your baby is like this, just leave the arms out. As babies have a startle reflex, having their arms unwrapped will often wake them up when they become startled and their arms will automatically come up in the air, disturbing and waking them up.