Is this a new exercise that will give me my six-pack back after baby?
Is it a spa treatment that will make my tummy disappear?
Tummy time is just that, placing your baby on their tummy.
Have you tried it yet? It’s all the craze right now and let’s just say its way more than just a buzz word.
Life After the “Delivery”
You may just be getting your sea legs back after the birth of your little bundle of joy, but don’t forget to schedule in a little tummy time for your little one. It’s an important exercise for your little baby because not only can it help reduce the risk of flat spots on the back of their skull, but it also works their muscles (abs and neck) helping them develop stomach and arm strength.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Tummy Time is More than Just a Buzz Word:
- Early Crawling. I know, I know. You want your little baby to stay little forever. While in our minds our little baby will always be our baby, we still want them to excel and grow. Tummy time twice a day helps with this process. It helps the baby go against gravity and start to work those ab and neck muscles. No, they won’t get a six pack, but it will help put them on track to strength training their muscles and paving the way to crawling. Have you baby proofed your house yet?
- Flat Shape Heads Are In, Right? Yes, any shape head is cute on a baby (not so much for everyone else – we give thanks to hair) but with that you will want to protect their skull so they don’t develop a flat spot on the back of their head. Since the times have changed from when our parents placed us on our tummies to sleep, we are now having babies with flat heads because of the back sleeping, hence the flat heads. Tummy time helps balance out the time they are on their backs and reduces their contact with flat surfaces.
- Gaining Their Independence. A newborn baby can seem a bit wobbly and unsteady. At this stage in the game, they are just trying to gain control of holding their head and body steady. This doesn’t happen overnight. The unsteadiness of your newborn may appear to show that they have had a few shots of tequila (no, I’m sorry…that was you last night). Overtime and with the practice of tummy time, they will conquer their unsteadiness and begin to hold their head up. Next, they will start to learn how to control their body, enabling them to sit up on their own. There’s nothing better than giving your arms some free time and watching your baby view the world like everyone else, in an upright position.
- Say Yes to Biceps. Yes, tummy time helps strengthen your baby’s arms when they start to try and push up. This will help them to maneuver around on the floor, rolling over and eventually lead to crawling. In a blink of an eye, they will have rolled across the room.
- Yoga in the Womb. Okay, so your baby has been curled up into a little ball for nine months, you can’t blame them for being a little fussy when placed on their tummy. You would hate to do the Cobra Pose too if you were in the fetal position, 24 hours a day for 9 months.
Okay, pretend in your mind that you haven’t been in that position in your closet from time to time when you are having a moment (shh! I won’t tell).
But seriously, it is foreign to their bodies, so go easy on them at first. Tummy time helps stretch out all those muscles that have been kinked up for nine months. If you want to see what I am talking about, stand up and touch your feet. I am gathering that you maybe got past your knees and felt the pull. Well, this is similar to what your baby is feeling, but 100x worse.
So, go and get started. After the next feeding, go and give it a try. Get out your play mat, cozy blanket or even your tummy for placement. Place your little baby on their tummy (supervised of course) and watch them play for as little as a few seconds or a few minutes, however long they will tolerate it. Keep them entertained by using a rattle or try and make funny sounds to engage them. Then, with your other free hand, get out the phone and try and catch a cute video (blackmail for when they are grown). They will love you for it.
Another way to engage in tummy time, but fun for you would be a parenting group. A little mommy socializing won’t hurt anyone.
Tummy time equals play time, and remember tummy time works best for a well-rested and fed baby. Unless you want to be driven to drink (its 5:00 somewhere right?), avoid times of hunger or tiredness. You will hate yourself if you don’t and so will the other moms.
Get Ready for the Chaos!
Tummy time might not be beneficial to you the parent; because the earlier they crawl the more difficult life begins for you. Yes, they will be getting around faster than you want, pulling out your pots and pans, but hey, you can brag to your mommy group that your little bambino is walking at 7 months and you owe it all to tummy time.