You can start to give your baby tummy time during the early weeks
Tummy Time & Floor Play
Provide your baby with floor play, especially by placing them on their tummy. You can start to give your baby time on their tummy during their early weeks. Perhaps start by laying your baby on your chest while lying down (remember not to fall asleep). This will help them to develop head control, body strength and assist with their ability to learn to crawl. Most importantly, you must stay with your baby and remain alert when they are on their tummy as they are at risk of SIDS.
Baby tummy time:
- Place your baby on their tummy on a rug on the floor.
- Place a small brightly coloured toy in front of your baby about a hand span away so they can see it.
- Remember to stay with your baby.
- Some babies don’t like to be on their tummy and will protest. Start with a few minutes and gradually increase the time. Talk to them to reassure, especially if this is the first few times on their tummy.
- It can help for you to also get down to floor level. Your baby will be reassured if they can see your face.
- Whenever you place your baby on the floor, make sure you check for any dangers. The best way to do this is to get down on the floor and see what might attract your baby’s attention and be dangerous. This is especially important once they start to move and explore. At around 7–9 months their pincer grip will start to develop and they are able to easily pick up very small items from the floor.
Other things to ensure their safety include:
- Making sure any pets are not in the room when your baby is on the floor.
- Bookcases and television are anchored to the wall.
- Tablecloths are not within reach.
- Remove any cords or heavy objects that can fall on them, e.g. an iron on an ironing board.
- Precious ornaments are out of reach.
- Stairs, heaters and fans are not accessible
- Blind cords are secured and out of reach.