Supporting Gross Motor Development During Tummy Time
Even when your baby is still a tiny newborn, you will be encouraged to place them on their tummy a few times a day. If babies spend too much time laying on their backs, there is a risk they will develop plagiocephaly or brachycephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. However, this isn’t the only reason why you should lay your baby on their tummy and encourage them to try new positions during play time, and tummy time is beneficial for lots of different reasons. In fact, tummy time plays a key role in gross motor development and you should start tummy time as soon as your baby is born.
Below we have looked into tummy time and why it is beneficial for gross motor development in more detail. We have also listed some easy ways to make tummy time more fun.
What is tummy time?
Tummy time is something you should introduce when your baby is only a few weeks old and it simply involves laying your little one on their front. It’s important to make sure your baby is wide-awake during tummy time and there are lots of ways you can feed their curiosity with sensory toys and props. Tummy time is encouraged by medical professionals and developmental specialists for different reasons and it’s undeniably beneficial.
When you first introduce your baby to tummy time, you should only keep them on their front for a couple of minutes and you can initiate tummy time a few times a day. The older and stronger your little one gets, the longer they can stay on their tummy.
Why is tummy time an important part of gross motor development?
One of the biggest benefits of tummy time is the impact it has on gross motor skills. Whilst laying on their front, your little one will be strengthening lots of important muscles, like their neck, arm, chest and back muscles. It’s so important to strengthen these muscles from a young age as they play a key part in several developmental milestones. For example, your baby will need good gross motor skills to roll over, sit up by themselves, crawl and eventually, walk.
Encouraging your little one to spend time on their front will help them to gain more control over their muscles as well. In addition to developing strength, they will learn more about their body and having good body awareness is really important. Your little one will start to become aware of each of their body parts and how they can use their arms and legs, for example, to move themselves and reach the things they want.
How can you make tummy time fun?
Not all babies enjoy tummy time and you may find that to start with, when your little one isn’t strong enough to hold their own head up, they don’t enjoy laying on their front as they’re unable to see what’s going on around them. There are some things you can do to make tummy time more enjoyable for your baby and it is easier than you may think to make this activity fun.
Whenever your little one is laying on their front, you should make sure you’re talking to them and supporting them through tummy time. If possible, you should also make sure they can see your face during this activity, this will make them feel more comfortable. You can start introducing toys into tummy time too and baby sensory toys are perfect for this type of activity.
Using sensory toys during tummy time will help to keep your baby entertained and it will prevent them from getting bored whilst laying on their front. These toys are designed to be intriguing and your inquisitive little one will want to find out more about them and what they can do. With so many different sensory toys and props available, you can create different sensory experiences for your baby to enjoy during tummy time, making it much more fun for them.
Purchasing baby sensory toys for tummy time
If you’re looking for some toys that will make tummy time more enjoyable for your baby, explore the My Little Goody Box website today. We supply a huge range of baby sensory toys, from tummy time books and water mats to sensory bottles and musical instruments, and there is something for everyone on our website. You can purchase from us knowing that we only supply the highest quality sensory toys and props, and we would use all of the products on our website with our own children. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about which toys are best to use during tummy time to support gross motor development.