Tummy time is the practice of placing your little one on his or her tummy while awake and supervised to help improve motor skills and strengthen head, neck and shoulder muscles. It can help prevent flat head syndrome, giving the back of baby’s soft skull a rest from the pressure applied while laying on back. Some research suggests that babies who spend time on their tummies will achieve other milestones such as rolling over, supporting themselves on all fours, and crawling earlier than babies who don’t.
But, if we’re being totally honest, tummy time isn’t exactly a dream for babies, or mamas. After all, we can understand why it might be less than pleasant to be made to lay face down helplessly. That’s where the DockATot comes in. The DockATot is the ideal spot to let your little one spend time on their tummies because the rounded sides help to prop up your baby when placed under his or her arms. To practice tummy time with your little one in the DockATot, place the baby in DockATot with the rounded tube under the baby's chest and armpits with his arms out in front of them. This position also allows for play and observation. By propping baby up on the padded sides, tummy time instantly becomes easier and more comfortable for babies - and mums! Now, everyone can enjoy tear-free tummy time!
It’s recommended to start with short sessions of about 3-5 minutes, and repeat 2-3 times per day. As your little one gets stronger, you can increase time and frequency of tummy time sessions. And keep in mind, if babe isn’t feeling the whole “tummy time” thing, don’t give up! A lot of little ones dislike tummy time at first. As they get stronger and more comfortable on their tummies, they’ll begin to enjoy it.
To engage your little one and encourage movement during tummy time, create an interesting environment around them. Prop a board book open in front of your baby, or place a favourite toy within reach. You can also entertain your little one by lying down in front of them, encouraging them to grasp for you. Or, get big brother and sister involved! With supervision, have older siblings play gently in front of baby, making silly faces and sounds. Babies tend to reach out and grasp at any interesting objects in front of them. This encourages weight-shifting which will in turn improve muscle strength and fine tune development of motor skills.
Keep in mind, your baby should be awake and supervised during this mini “baby workout”. But remember tummy time is HARD WORK! So if your little one starts to get sleepy during tummy time, be sure to turn him onto his back in the dock to continue snoozing.