As a new mom, you may feel overwhelmed. You’re getting advice from mom, aunts, cousins, girlfriends, random people about what you need to do, don’t need to do, must have items… and as great as it all it, it can be very overwhelming. One important thing, that moms don’t always understand or isn’t explained is the importance of tummy time. Tummy time is one of the babies first ‘exercises.’
What is tummy time?
Tummy time is a period of time that the baby needs, to just lay on their stomach (while awake and supervised) and is important for the babies visual, motor, and sensory development. The sooner the baby starts tummy time, the more apt they will be to accept that new position. It may only last a minute or two and that’s okay! Tummy time is more than 20 minutes of listening to a child scream while being in a position that they don’t like. There are so many benefits for the health of the child. As the baby gets bigger and more development occurs, you will see the progress over time. Initially to start, you can try tummy-to-tummy. This is where mom or dad lay on their back propped up by a pillow and have the baby can lay on the moms/dads chest/tummy. Talking, smiling, singing is a great way for your baby to start lifting their head slighting and is a perfect way to bond. As your baby gets stronger, you can place the baby on their tummy on a soft blanket and maybe some toys around them.
Why is tummy time important?
Babies need to develop those core muscles of the back, neck and shoulders. It also is important for meeting developmental milestones. Babies miss out on the importance of practicing lifting their head against gravity and using their arms to push them up. These are all ways for those muscles to get stronger. The physical development helps with allowing the babies to push up, roll, sit, and crawl.
Tummy time can possibly help prevent conditions like plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome). In a research article by Pediatric & Child Health, they concluded that plagiocephaly may be a ‘physical marker for developmental delay.’ Chiropractors understand the importance of the nervous system and how the body functions and the overall structure. The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics states that “Chiropractors will be very familiar with the problem of the infant who cannot rotate his or her cervical spine equally to both sides (due to vertebral fixation or muscular imbalance), thus causing a flatness on one side of the cranium (more commonly the right side).” Once the infant has settled into this preferred posture, the more the head flattens, the more difficult it is to overcome gravity and the more staying to that side becomes a habit, profoundly preferred by the child.
Schedule an appointment today for an evaluation for you and your little one at Restoration Chiropractic and be sure to ask us for recommendations of how to make tummy time easy and fun for you and your child. We are here to help ensure your child reaches each and every developmental milestone.