A baby laying on their stomach in a crib.

Fun tummy time games

For growing babies, tummy time is kind of a big deal. Lying on the ground, stomach-down, is actually a big part of baby body strengthening exercises that can condition the typical baby’s arms, shoulders, neck, and upper back muscles.

Tummy time and your baby

The only question is, how does Baby feel about tummy time activities? One baby may stick to the ground like a snail while others may sometimes resist laying on their stomach, usually with lots of flailing and wailing. If Baby proves tough to persuade, try encouraging this important baby ritual with the following modifications.

Provide entertainment

The next time you lay Baby down, try placing his favorite picture board book or toy right in front of him. This can distract Baby from thinking, “Hey! Why did they put me on my stomach?!” If a toy puts him at ease, you might want to consider investing in a tummy time gym, which is designed to provide ample entertainment for babies assuming this new and unfamiliar position.

Add some perspective

Once Baby starts displaying signs of head and neck control (usually around 3-4 months) you can add some spice to tummy time by propping him up with a nursing pillow or a small firm cushion. Simply position the pillow beneath Baby’s arms and chest, and see what happens next. For some babies, a heightened perspective can flip their outlook on tummy time from “No way” to “Woohoo!”

Cast some supporting players

Make tummy time a social affair. As soon as Baby is on the ground, bring your face up close to him and talk it out. If anyone else is home, you can encourage him or her to join the party as well. Even the presence of a family pet can be just enough to keep Baby happily occupied and unbothered during tummy time.

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