Read Part 1
According to How to Teach Your Baby to be Physically Superb, there are several things you have to take note with regards to “tummy time”.
1. Firstly, you need to start as soon as possible after birth. In some cultures, baby’s first movement occurs immediately after birth when the baby is placed on Mum’s belly where he has the opportunity to “crawl” his way to her breast. It sounds amazing, but it is apparently possible because babies have been learning to crawl for some seven months while they were in the womb.
2. Allow your baby as much tummy time as possible – more is better. Just as adults need to spend time to learn how to be good at something, the same goes for baby. If you want your baby to be physically superb, you need to give him the opportunity to practice.
3. The importance of starting early is because babies put on a considerable amount of weight in the following months after birth. Every month that you delay, you are hindering your baby’s development. Babies can gain some 30% of their body weight at birth over the first two months of life. If you gained 30% of your body weight, how eager would you be to start a new physical regime? It’s the same for babies.
4. It is important to have the right environment to promote physical development. In this case, we’re talking about the floor. It must be safe, clean, smooth, warm, pliable and flat. A baby’s ability to develop physically is limited by the surface he is expected to learn on. If the floor is not conducive for movement, it can impede his development.
5. If possible, use an infant crawling track. You can buy one or make one yourself but make sure it is ready before birth so it can be used immediately after birth. The crawling track makes it easier for baby to crawl in a straight line and reduces the frustration of going around in circles which happens because the baby cannot control his movements left or right.
6. It is also important to have the right attire. For baby to learn how to move effectively, he must be appropriately dressed. If he is bundled up with too many layers, it restricts his mobility and makes learning harder. The ideal attire is a t-shirt (or romper) and a diaper. Hands and feet must be uncovered so he can gain tactile sensation of the floor.
7. Mum and Dad must be comfortable with the idea because babies sense what their parents feel. If they detect any negativity from Mum and Dad, these exercises cannot work.
Next up – Part 3: The Grasp Reflex.