Do you know the first legitimate exercise we all do after we are born? It's tummy time! A newborn baby is most of the time sleeping on her back. Therefore it becomes vital to provide her enough tummy time so that her back can rest and other body parts can strengthen.
Parents and caretakers of a newborn baby must make sure to provide at least a few minutes of tummy time daily. You can place the baby on her tummy on the bed or sofa near you or on your chest as well. This would be a bonding and playful time for you and your baby. But remember to give tummy time when your newborn is awake as they should always sleep on their back.
Top 7 Benefits of Tummy Time
Tummy time is the most significant aspect of newborn care as it has many benefits. 7 of its major benefits are as follows:
1. Aids Physical Growth
Parents of a newborn often daydream of their baby crawling, rolling, sitting, and walking. When your baby reaches that stage, she will need sufficient physical development and muscle control. Body parts such as arms, legs, back, and neck are of utmost importance. Tummy time strengthens all these body parts.
It will be further helpful to lie down with your baby and encourage her to lift her neck and arms.
2. Provides Excess to New Textures
When a newborn gets tummy time, her tummy and other body parts get excess to different textures. In the absence of tummy time, the other body parts of the baby can never feel different fabrics and textures. You might also change to another place from the baby’s usual cot or crib for tummy time. This provides the baby with a change from her everyday surroundings.
3. Prevents Flat Head Syndrome & Torticollis
Newborn babies are vulnerable to flat head syndrome and torticollis. What are they? A flat head syndrome is a condition in which a baby can develop flat spots on her head because of being in the same position for a long time. In torticollis, the neck muscles get tight and stiff.
Your healthcare provider will suggest you a way of making the tummy time relaxing for the neck muscles of your newborn baby.
4. Allows to See the World in a Different Way
Tummy time provides an unexplored perspective of the surroundings to the newborns. They are usually watching the ceiling on their back. During tummy time, they see their bed and floor. When they try to lift their head, they see many things from a different angle in the room.
This is the time when your babies are grasping the environment. So it’s better that they get to see new things now and then.
5. Develops Vision & Focus
Keep the baby’s toys close to her during tummy time. When they are in the line of the baby’s vision, she will learn to track them by focusing on them. She might also try to touch and hold them, which is certainly a good sign. This daily experience of focusing and tracking toys will definitely help their vision development.
6. Stimulates Sensory Processing
The sense of smell and touch are in the developing stage in a newborn. Babies who spend more time on their tummy experience better sensory processing. This is because their different body parts can touch and feel carpets, beds, blankets, etc. They hold those stuff in their arms and can smell them as well.
If you give sufficient tummy time while taking care of a newborn baby, you can see how fast her sense of touch and smell develops.
7. Improves Digestive System
One of the trickiest parts of newborn care is to keep their gut healthy. Tummy time stimulates babies’ bowel movement as their abdominal organs get massaged. Tummy time of newborns also stretches their abdominal muscles. That means the baby can pass the gas easily.
Ask any new parents, and they will tell you that a healthy tummy and digestive system are the critical tummy time benefits.
Keep the toys of your newborn near and engage in playing with them to make the tummy time interesting for your little hearts. You can also keep changing the spots. According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, parents can start giving tummy time to a newborn from the day they come home from the hospital. You will start experiencing all the tummy time benefits mentioned here in no time.