Does your baby hate tummy time? That could cause THIS problem down the line
Heard of how important tummy time is, yet faced with a baby who howls when put down on the front like that?
I feel you, mama, I have been that soldier too.
The thing is, it is pretty important to help babies get in some "tummy time" during waking hours, so this might be one of those instances where you just have to persevere.
Why? Because tummy time is essential for building babies' strength and motor skills. In fact, so important is it, that researchers have recently discovered that how much tummy time babies get when they are small might even have an impact on their handwriting years later.
The link was discovered through an informal study by Dr. Anne Zachry, chairwoman of the department of occupational therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. As she explains to The New York Times, she realized that poor handwriting was symptomatic of arm and trunk weakness. She then sent questionnaires home to the parents of children with poor handwriting and learned "the majority of these kids having fine motor and handwriting issues did not have tummy time."
Zachry says it seems that tummy time sets off a positive chain of events: Babies who do tummy time are more likely to crawl rather than skipping straight to walking. By doing this, they continue to strengthen their arms and cores and have more muscular control for years to come compared with kids who did not do as much tummy time.
"In tummy time, they're using their neck and trunk and shoulder muscles, and also their hands," Zachry says. "They start pushing themselves up to look around, working muscles that are foundational for fine motor skills, and getting a different perceptual experience."
In fact, so important is it, that Zachry stresses the importance of starting tummy time "as soon as you get home from the hospital." Begin with just a few seconds of tummy time before extending sessions as baby gets stronger.
And realising many babies object to tummy time, Zachry explains that this is very common and stems from, she believed, that babies have poor head control and being on their tummy like that is hard work.
Luckily, she has some advice on how to make it easier: "Don't put them on a blanket on the floor and go, 'Okay, it's time for tummy time,' and step away. Get down at their level with a small toy."