Tummy time – treat or torture?

From as early as birth onward tummy time is one of the most important activities for babies to develop core strength and balance in preparation for rolling over and eventually crawling. It can also help to prevent head-flattening which can happen if a baby is laid on their backs for too long at a time. It is recommended by the National Childbirth Trust and others that a baby has a session laying on their tummy for around 5 minutes 2-3 times a day. Although this sounds like no time at all, it can be tricky to find the right time to engage in tummy time when baby has to be alert, not recently fed and happy, especially when they nap every 2 hours! It really is important though so I make sure Isaac does it in preference to some other activities if necessary.

Like many babies, Isaac can find tummy time quite hard and therefore can get a little grumpy with it. I have to mix it up each time in order to keep him engaged and, depending on how he is feeling, I vary the difficulty with different supports.

In order to engage Isaac more, I have bought 2 items for tummy time which I am thrilled with. First, the specially designed tummy time cushion gives good support and has accessories like a rattle, a cuddly toy and a teether to keep Isaac amused.

Isaac loves the support of this specially designed tummy time cushion

When he got a little older and stronger, I bought him a water mat which is awesome as it has floating sea animals inside which he can press with his hands (or I sit opposite him and move it around myself). Another fantastic purchase!

Enjoying the sensation of the water and the fishes swimming about!

It certainly is the case that tummy time can feel like ‘torture’, particularly if baby has no fun distractions like toys or a fun mat to look at and play with. No wonder so many parents find it stressful and therefore one of the first things to knock off the to-do list each day!

Since buying these items, Isaac has begun to see tummy time as more of a ‘treat’ (and it certainly is a treat for me seeing him get stronger and closer to meeting key milestones like rolling over and pushing up).

A simple ‘no thrills’ tummy time with a blanket is great when baby is in a good mood and can make them feel successful when scaffolds such as the cushion can be removed.

How did you get on with my recommended products? Do you have any recommended products of your own to make this activity more enjoyable?