When you first hear the phrase "tummy time," you might think it sounds inconsequential.
But in fact, tummy time is a vital part of caring for a baby. If you thought that toys for babies were the only sources of development and entertainment they needed, you're sorely mistaken.
There are many tummy time benefits, all of which have stakes in your child's lifelong development.
After all, it's only a few minutes. With tummy time, your child finally sees what the world looks like beyond their ceiling!
Keep reading to learn more. We'll explain the benefits of tummy time and how it impacts your child in the long run. Afterwards, you'll be on the hunt for quality baby playmats for your little one.
Babies need all the practice they can get to become fully functional human beings. And although lack of tummy time won't provoke blindness, it could impair their vision from sharpening.
That's because babies experience a whole new world while on their baby mat. After all, when they were on their backs, they could see the blank expanse of the ceiling.
But with tummy time, they're exposed to a new reality, even if they can only see inches of it. Tummy time aids in visual development as the initial shock of being on the mat turns into excitement for the surrounding world, and increases their curiosity by moving to things.
Motor Skill/Muscle Development
Tummy time also encourages muscle development in babies. When babies are laid onto their bellies, they might want to move around instead of staring straight at the floor. On their stomachs, babies have to lift their heads to see things around them, allowing them to exercise and strengthen their young, fragile neck muscles.
Muscular development to support and develop those very important motor skills, is important to start from just a couple of weeks old.
Starting tummy time early will help exercise their muscles, particularly their necks, arms, and shoulders. Some babies hate tummy time and may only be able to handle a couple of minutes at a time. Practicing tummy time a few times a day, will help teach babies to spend more time on their tummy.
Encouraging these muscles to develop will also improve their fine motor skills and natural mobility. Since tummy time also functions as a source of stimulation, babies will become curious enough to develop the environmental awareness necessary for good motor skills such as beginning to crawl and walk.
As your baby grows and strengthens their neck muscles it can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome "SIDS" because that can lift their head to the side to breath if they roll to be face down.
"Flat Head Syndrome" Prevention
Positional Plagiocephaly or "flat head syndrome" is detected when there are flat spots on a baby's head. Believe it or not, lack of tummy time can contribute heavily to this condition.
While it's not dire or even very noticeable in most cases, most parents want to avoid flat head syndrome. Tummy time can do that by reducing the time they get on their backs. It As opposed to play gyms, where, allowing them to prevent getting a flat head.
At early child developmental stages, babies are going to be on their backs a lot. They can't do much else, after all. Doing this prevents pressure on their heads, which could mould against the flatness of a floor and remain flat.
Let Tummy Time Help Your Baby's Development
For any parent, the idea of their baby lacking any vision/motor support or having a flat head is very stressful. Tummy time can prevent all of these from happening when incorporated in a daily routine. One of the first things to do is find the right baby mat for your house. Luckily, there are many options from padded play mats, waterproof play mats, large foam mats or small portable mats.
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