Thursday, November 20, 2014

Enjoyable Tummy Time? It's Possible!

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Tummy time- a term that all parents know, or hopefully know. It's funny, at Baby Girl's 2 day checkup, they made sure to tell us to turn her head so she wasn't always laying down facing the same direction- so her head didn't get flat. I'm pretty sure that they would have mentioned tummy time, had I not asked right away.

As a special education early intervention teacher, this is phrase that I talk/think about a lot. I teach 3-5 year olds, so they aren't working on tummy time anymore, but, I see a lot of kids who would have benefited from more tummy time, if they got any at all. It's a term that I read about as soon as I started thinking about having kids and dreaming about playing with them.

Some parents hate tummy time, some babies hate tummy time, but it's SO IMPORTANT! When babies are on their tummies, they are working on skills that are the building blocks to later development. Over at Mama OT, she gives some strategies to help make tummy time more enjoyable for the parents and for baby.

We are fortunate because Baby Girl has seemed to enjoy tummy time since we started tummy time (knock on wood). Her preferred snuggle position is tummy to tummy with us. Her cord fell off at like 3-4 days, so we started tummy time then. I will say that if she is hungry or tired, she does start to fuss until she is picked up. I try to keep tummy time fun and engaging to keep her interested. Hubby and/or I lay on the floor with her so she can see us. If she is having a rough go of it for the day (doesn't happen too often), I try to break tummy time down into small increments- even if  it's only 5 minutes. We typically get tummy time in 3-4 times throughout the day, usually for 10-15 minutes each time, although sometimes it's shorter. We have toys that I bring out and I change them up daily.

Some of my favorite tummy time accessories:

1. A mat of some sort. We bought this one (I didn't take a picture of it). I love this mat because it is huge, has different textures, and fun, bright colors and can be tossed into the wash!

2. A mirror. This is a great developmental tool- it helps children work on self-concept through recognizing their own self. It's also an additional way to build language into play time- like personal pronouns.

3. Links- I love these things. There is 1 link already on the mat. I like adding them to attach the toys. This way, Baby Girl can work on pulling and grabbing.


4. A rattle of some sort. I got this one at a yardsale and I just liked the different colors, that it rattles and that it's small enough to work on grip. Baby Girl likes to grab onto this. I like to shake it on one side and when she turns towards it, shake it in another location. 


5. Finger puppets- I love finger puppets! It's funny, I feel stupid playing with puppets with my kids at school, but with my own daughter, I love them! We sing songs with them- like Hickory Dickory Dock, or a great Bumble Bee song the SLP in my classroom taught me. 


6. Finally- blocks. First of all- these blocks are great- different textures, colors and sounds. One of them even vibrates. Another yardsale purchase! At first, I just brought out one at a time, but recently, I have started bringing out all 4. I stack them up and Baby Girl has started to knock them down with her hands or her feet. I make a big deal about it, and she smiles back at me and does it again :-)




 What are your favorite Tummy Time props? Did you and/or baby struggle with it, or was it enjoyable?

14 comments:

  1. So sweet! My Little Dude use to love tummy time! Great ideas!

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    1. Thanks! I am enjoying my time playing with her!

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  2. Cute ideas! My oldest loved it and my youngest hated it!

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    1. I am she continues to enjoy it :-) I definitely am!

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  3. This actually makes me MISS tummy time with my babies. Thanks for the ideas, I have a newborn nephew to spoil!

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  4. I completely agree about the mirror being a great tool! When my kids were babies they were always wondering who that baby in the mirror was! ;)

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    1. I sing songs in my classroom for self-identifying skills, so now that I am home for awhile, I am singing them to her :-)

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  5. Great tips! My kids were always so anti-tummy time and I didn't fight it well. But tummy time is much more enjoyable than taking a baby to the doc for flat head :(

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    1. I went crazy when planning for her to make sure to not get items that would promote flat-head- like all those swings, bouncers, etc.

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  6. I loved tummy time!! An excuse to lie down that I could call "educating my baby"! LOL

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    1. Yeah- although it's still not super comfortable to lay on my stomach yet

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  7. My baby (now 15 months) was okay with tummy time for small intervals. Those links are the best though! I would hook up a bunch of different toys and hook them up to his stroller, high chair, etc.

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    1. Originally we got the links for the stroller and stuff like that. But I am loving them for tummy time too!

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