As an Early Childhood Educator by profession, I had heard about tummy time long before becoming a mother. It was actually something I was very excited to do with my first child. I was just waiting for the two week mark to start giving Aria tummy time, little did I know that she would absolutely hate it! As disheartening as it was, I was not giving up.
I knew that tummy time was essential in order to strengthen a baby’s head, neck and upper body muscles. Further more, I was starting to notice a flat spot on the back of Aria’s head, which often occurs when babies lay on their backs for long periods of time. Tummy time is the best way to fix this issue, so I started doing my research.
I figured the reason Aria wasn’t enjoying tummy time was because it was boring. When she was on her back, she was able to watch the world around her. On her tummy, the only thing she could see was the floor. She didn’t have enough strength to be able to look higher than that.
I propped her up on a nursing pillow, but she still kept rolling on to her back (yes, we have a stubborn little girl on our hands). This kid needed entertainment…I opened up a book and kept it in front of her while she was propped up on the pillow, and to my surprise she stayed on her tummy, staring at the pictures for a good 5 minutes!! That was an accomplishment! From then on story time and tummy time went hand in hand.
Once I realized that tummy time needed to be more interesting, I started brain storming some more activities that Aria would be able to enjoy while on her tummy. I have listed a few successful ones down below!
Prop your baby up on a pillow and put a tray with water and some water toys in front of them. Aria would push forward and try to reach the toys (which kept floating away – challenging her more). She would also enjoy just splashing her hands in the water, or taking little sips.
Tip: put a towel down below the tray of water, this one can get messy.
For this activity, you will need to freeze some coloured ice cubes before hand (food colouring + water). Fill a tray with the ice cubes and place it in front of your baby. Your child will love feeling these new sensations! Aria used to try to pick the ice cubes up; of course they would slip out of her tiny little hands. But hey, this kept her busy for a good 20 minutes.
Tip: don’t let baby hold the ice cube for too long. Their reflexes are not as strong as ours. They will most likely hold the ice cube even after it starts hurting, and then you will have a crying baby with a very cold hand.
Fill a ziplock bag with two different bright-coloured paints on each side of the bag; secure it shut and use masking tape to stick it to the floor. Aria loved “finger painting” and bringing the two colours together to mix in the middle. The best part was, there was absolutely no mess to clean afterwards! Unfortunately, I don’t have picture of this activity in action (I was too busy writing my name in the paint).
Motherhood is all about trial and error, try and try again until you make your baby do want you want… oops umm… I mean until you succeed. Anyway, if your little one is struggling with tummy time, I hope these activities help you out! If you have any questions leave them down below, I ‘ll be sure to answer speedy quick! If you tried something else and it worked, leave that down below and help a mama out J. Although Aria is past the tummy time phase, I’m sure it will help with the next one (relax mom…I’m not pregnant)!
Hugs and kisses to all!