In the next month or two, your baby will likely start sitting up. In these months, they will still need lots of tummy time to build their core muscle strength for crawling—and later for walking.
Here are the different stages of tummy time and some ideas for making the most of them:
If your baby lifts their head and chest, but doesn’t yet put weight on their hands with elbows extended during tummy time (see the illustration below), here are some ways to play:
- Help your baby into tummy time with their arms bent, putting weight on their forearms.
- You can also put a towel under your baby or use a pillow to help prop up their body, so they start to put weight on their arms.
- As you sit on the floor, place your baby horizontally over your lap with their arms on the floor to one side and their legs on the other side; you can drop the wood ball in the Ball Drop Box from The Inspector Play Kit for them to watch as they put weight on their arms. Try to keep their arms forward and hips flat.
- To encourage your baby to push up during tummy time, blow bubbles, shake the rolling bell from The Charmer Play Kit, or put a favourite toy above their head.
If your baby is pushing up on their arms, but not yet pivoting and moving in circles when they’re on their tummy (the stage known as “swimming”), here are some ways to play:
- Start by putting your baby in a short-sleeved onesie on a smooth floor (rather than a rug or blanket) so they can use their skin against the floor to get a little grip.
- Place them on their belly with toys in a semicircle around them, just within reach when they pivot. Move the toys a little farther away after some play time to encourage more movement.
If your baby is “swimming” in tummy time, but can’t yet, capture a moving toy while on their belly, here are some ways to play:
- Put the Tummy Time Wobbler from The Senser Play Kit on a hard floor, just out of your baby’s reach.
- Bat the wobbler to show them how it rocks and moves.
- Eventually, they’ll be able to reach, bat, and capture the wobbler on their own 🙂
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“Swimming” in tummy time yet?
Your baby needs lots of tummy time to build core muscle strength for crawling. Here are the different stages of tummy time and ideas to make the most of them.