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Tummy time is simply any time a baby spends in the tummy-down position while awake and supervised. While placing babies on their tummies is not a brand new concept, it is something that has become more important in recent decades.
While this has significantly reduced baby writing abcs for preschoolers incidence of SIDS hallelujah! Now that babies are no longer sleeping on their tummies, it is important for them to spend time in the prone position while awake. This allows them to develop the ability to move against gravity as they learn to control and strengthen their neck, trunk, and shoulder girdle.
All of this strengthening and control leads to awesome skills such as being able to push their chest off the ground and shift their weight side to side, rollsit upcrawland even pull to stand! Can you believe that all starts with tummy time? Not all babies love it. In fact, many despise it.
So it should come as no surprise to you that research has shown that the majority of parents give their babies 30 minutes or less of tummy time per day.
Research has also shown that, at four months of age, babies who spend at least 80 minutes per day playing on their tummy while awake are able to more successfully reach motor milestones involving the prone, supine laying on the backand sitting positions than those who spend less time playing on their tummy.
So what do we do about this? Use a therapy ball to make tummy time easier and more fun for baby! This is probably my favorite way to help babies become comfortable and stronger in the tummy-down position. Making sure you have a good grip on baby, gently place her tummy-down on top of the therapy ball.
You can vary the angle at which your baby is positioned, thus determining how easy or difficult it is. The goal at the beginning is simply to get baby comfortable on the ball and get you as the grown-up comfortable with handling baby on the unstable surface.
If you want to be extra cautious when starting out, you can always recruit your partner or another helper to help stabilize the ball as you focus on keeping your hands on the baby. Once baby is secure on the ball, your helper can even position him or herself in front of the ball to smile at baby and entertain her!
So start out slowly and only roll her as far as she can tolerate while still being happy. This will help prevent over-development of the muscles on one side of the neck.
As baby becomes familiar with rolling forward and backward on the ball, you can incorporate some rhythm and predictability by gently singing to her as she rolls on the ball. As you begin to incorporate singing into your therapy ball routine, you are helping baby tolerate tummy time by providing a sense of rhythm and predictability, which is totally what she wants at this age.
And you know what? It also provides an opportunity for bonding between the two of you as well, as you interact with her through the sense of touch, movement, sound, and sight and she learns to trust you. How sweet and amazing that is. Can you tell I love babies???
You can use anything from a musical or light-up toy to a sibling or other grown-up. I especially enjoy getting babies in front of a mirror while they do tummy time on the ball…babies LOVE looking at themselves in the mirror and are so easily entertained by their own mirror image!
Simply remove two of the legs in order to make it tilted, then zoom baby forward toward the lights and songs.
If she is learning how to reach, you can roll the ball forward and slightly to the side of the arm that needs to bear weight in order for the opposite arm to reach out and push one of the buttons so, for example, roll the ball slightly to the left if the right arm is going to reach forward.
Whatever it is you use, just make sure you keep it in front of the ball rather than to the side of the ball in order to promote balanced development of those neck, shoulder, and trunk muscles. Once you are comfortable handling baby on the therapy ball and baby is happy to be on the ball, you can begin to change up the direction a bit by slowly rocking her side to side.
In addition to the new sensory input, side rocking also provides baby an opportunity to experience shifting her weight from left to right to left to right. And you know what other skill is related to upper body weight shifting? So now you can ask the big question: Does this actually work?
Will my baby really learn to enjoy tummy time if I use a therapy ball? I mentioned earlier in this post that I have written about tummy time before.
It was the first informational post ever published on this site, and is called 7 tips for making tummy time a little less…um…miserable.STEM ABC's: R is for Robot - a science alphabet book for babies and preschoolers (Techie Baby) [Sheyna Sears] on schwenkreis.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Create the next generation of innovators by providing early exposure to the STEM fields of Science, Technology. Tummy time doesn't have to be miserable for your baby!
Learn tips from an OT for how to use a therapy ball to make tummy time easier and more fun for baby. Your preschooler is starting to experiment with letters.
Soon she will be writing complete sentences. Here you'll learn to teach your preschooler how to grip a pencil, fundamental writing. Gross motor activities for preschoolers are a MUST in my book. Preschoolers aren’t quite as hard as toddlers to plan activities for, but there still are some limitations to what you can do.
And getting their little bodies moving helps a ton! Granted, preschoolers have much more control than a. Hands-on writing is much more exciting for preschoolers than putting pen to paper and writing the same thing over and over again. Plus, preschoolers might not be ready to grip the pencil and be able to write in this way yet.
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