Your baby needs tummy time and a bedtime ritual, Mama!
As a baby, my son enjoyed rolling on to his tummy. Discovering that he could actually mover around must have come as a pleasant surprise to him, and of course, us. We would laugh as he did “push ups” possibly in an attempt to raise himself, and perhaps start walking? But Nature intervened and kept him busy doing all the things that infants do! Sometimes you do have to walk before you run, you know!
So imagine my happiness when I discovered, in a book, that tummy time is very important for babies!
Okay! So, What Is Tummy Time?
Tummy time is when you place your baby on her stomach when she’s awake, under your supervision.
Why tummy time?
Tummy Time helps baby grow normally by:
- Preventing flat spots on the back of her head
- Strengthening her neck and shoulder muscles so she can sit, crawl, and walk.
- Preparing her for that moment when she will be able to slide on her belly and crawl.
- Enhances her motor skills, helping her use her muscles to move and complete an action.
Actually, from the day you bring her home, it is a good idea to give her two to three tummy time sessions every day. These should last no longer than three to five minutes. As she grows and starts enjoying her tummy time, increase the time gently. When she grows older, tummy time will help her build her strength for sitting up, rolling over, crawling and walking.
Tummy Time Tips
How to ensure that your baby enjoys her tummy time? Here are some tips.
- Start by clearing out an area of your floor – she needs the space.
- Spread a blanket.
- Help her get used to tummy time with short sessions, say, after a diaper change or when she wakes up from her nap
- Place her favorite toy where she can reach it during tummy time, so she learns to play and gets used to her surroundings
- Have someone close to you sit in front of baby to encourage her to interact and bond.
- As she gets older, increase the frequency and duration of the tummy time
But suppose baby does not enjoy tummy time?
Yes, that’s possible, too! Some babies don’t like the tummy time position initially. To help your baby, have a toy she likes playing with, within her reach, and stay in her line of vision. In a few days, she will begin to look forward to tummy time!
Can you exercise baby when she’s on her tummy?
Yes, babies need exercise too (and there’s motivation for you to amp up your activity, too!). Keeping your baby active during tummy time makes her stronger and there are plenty of ways to play!
Some of the ways we enjoyed doing this with our son, are:
- We tempted him with his favorite Minnie Mouse toy by holding her just out of his reach and sure enough, he’d come after the toy!
- We arranged his toys in a circle around him. Thanks to the problem of choice, he would try to grab them all, sometimes crawling, sometimes, rolling over or scooting on his belly to crawl. In fact, that’s how he started crawling!
- My husband or I would lay on our back, and place our son on our chest. Sure enough, he would immediately lift his head, using his arms to get a look at our face. The delight on his was beautiful!
- We had our neighbor’s three-year-old over, to play with our son when he was on his tummy, while my Mom enjoyed watching them. Young children are more energetic and find it easier to play on the floor, and this is something babies love. My son was no exception. It was a win-win for her folks as well as us, as everyone had a great time!
Be prepared for lots of laughter, and perhaps some fake tears as your baby wants to progress faster now that she knows she can move! But most of all, enjoy!
To help my son grow healthy, and keep his skin supple and soft, we enjoyed massaging his body with Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil. He simply loved massage time. Plenty of tickling and laughing ensued and when done, he would sleep, literally like a baby, peacefully, and usually with a smile on his face.
Since we lived in a humid climate, we invariably had bath time before bedtime, followed by a massage and quiet time. This guaranteed that our son had a good night’s restful sleep. Best of all, this cultivates the habit of sleeping through the night. Most parents will gratefully agree that this is something we all aim for, starting as early as possible.
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The JOHNSON’S® 3-Step Routine consists of bath time and Visit this link. Both these rituals are great to baby’s sense of smell and touch while strengthening your bond and preparing her for a good night’s sleep.
Step-1 is a warm bath.
It is the perfect way to start your baby’s pre-bed routine. Use a wash with an enjoyable and familiar scent, such as JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® Moisture Wash, to help your baby sleep better.
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Step 2 is baby massage
A soothing massage is a wonderful way to make your baby feel secure, loved and ready for sleep. Use a lotion with a relaxing scent like JOHNSON’S® baby BEDTIME® lotion with NATURALCALM® essences.
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Step-3 Quiet time
Yes, This is very important. After giving your baby a warm bath followed by a soothing massage, it’s time to send her off to sleep with a little quiet time together. When you keep close contact between you and your little one, it helps calm your baby’s breathing, relaxing her for bed—a great reason to enjoy a post bath cuddle. Do it in a calm and cozy atmosphere.
Now, who can resist watching a baby? Enjoy!
Pro tip: If you choose to feed at this time, be sure not to feed your baby to sleep. Feeding could become something your baby expects, making it hard to change later. Instead, you can help your baby wind down further by reading or singing or playing a lullaby.
Does your baby get enough tummy time?
Does he/she have a night time routine or ritual?