If we wrote a comprehensive list of things we should do each day, first of all, we’d spend an entire day making a list. Secondly, we wouldn’t have time to sleep if we got to everything on our list. This can be frustrating, even disheartening. So, we must do baby steps. This works especially well with – you guessed it – babies!
As you are basking in the awe and happiness of being a new parent, and trying to keep up with daily basic tasks of caring for baby – eat/sleep/pee/poop/ repeat (mom & dads list is similar ☺ )– something whispers in our ear – Tummy Time.
Yes, you’re sure you got a printout on tummy time when you were pregnant. Now where did that printout go? Oh yes, under the AAA magazine, under the library book, under the safety manual for the baby swing and the warranty paperwork for said baby swing and the printout on breast milk – how much, how often, fresh, fridge, freezer oh my! So yes… you know you heard something about it. But when should you start it? And… when you do start it… how long do you do it for each time and… what if baby screams? Oh what to do?
Back to baby steps with baby – you ease into it – and you ease it into your schedule. Don’t worry about setting your alarm for ‘tummy time’. The Tummy Time Police will not be knocking down your door. What tummy time does is help to build muscles in baby’s head, neck and upper body. Just ease it into your schedule. A great way of doing this is at diaper changing time! That’s right – two birds!
Within the first few weeks when you are done changing baby’s diaper, just put them on their tummy for as long as they will stay happy for. When you first start this routine, baby might last just a few seconds. THIS IS OKAY. And totally normal. The more you do this with each diaper change, the longer baby will last as they get used to the sensation. Doing it at diaper changing time will also help you to easily accumulate the recommended 10 – 15 minutes a day without stressing about it. Eventually, baby will enjoy tummy time for longer spurts and then you will be attaining your 15 minutes in fewer times.
As baby gets older, you can move tummy time to the floor on a thick blanket or mats – with constant supervision of course. Propping baby on a boppy when baby is old enough can be helpful or even laying baby over your lap. Having toys or books in baby’s line of sight/reach is helpful encouragement for baby as well.
There are so many things that you are going to want to fit into your daily routine as a new parent, and I definitely recommend you do just that – fit them in. Don’t stress about it. Just ease it in to make yourself and baby happier campers as the journey continues ☺