Chances are, if you like babies, you’ve seen this recent video floating around the interwebs:
What I, a pediatric physical therapist, personally love about this video, is that it encapsulates everything I always tell parents about promoting tummy time for their babies. Any new parent knows, tummy time is tough. Babies hate it. But it is something essential to their motor development. Here is what this dad did right to help his baby daughter along, and why it means little Lilly Ann will grow up physically healthy and strong:
1. Spending time on the floor – Getting down on the floor with your baby, whether or not she is your only child, is the best thing for her development. Being on eye-level with her and putting your face close to hers will stimulate her senses and allow her to enjoy tummy time just that much more.
2. Acting like a baby – You know the saying that kids grow like weeds? It’s true. One second they are crawling and drooling, and the next second they can walk, run, and participate in conversations. Take advantage of these moments where you can act silly. Unabashedly silly. It’s part of what makes parenting fun.
3. Praising it by bringing attention to it – Sure, you don’t have to post every milestone your baby makes on the social media sites. But what Lilly Ann’s dad noticed, and then celebrated, was something so simple yet so fundamental in a baby’s growth. Having the strength and the ability to lift her chest up over and over again, even though her arms fatigued here and there, means Lilly Ann is trying. If that’s all she is able to do on tummy time at that moment. So be it. Embrace it.
Wondering the importance of tummy time for babies? Check out my previous work blog on tummy time during the first year. http://nspt4kids.com/parenting/tummy-time-the-first-year-a-month-by-month-primer-north-shore-pediatric-therapy/