Newborns and tummy-time: Five things you definitely should NOT be doing
From your public health nurse to your mam, we are constantly being told of the importance of 'tummy time'.
The Irish Society Of Chartered Physiotherapists recommends that it all kicks-off from birth - and that babies do it three times per day for 3-5 minutes, slowly building up to longer sessions.
However, sometimes in the midst of all the singing and dancing about glorious tummy time, we forget the things that you shouldn't be doing.
So here's a roundup of what to avoid:
1) Soft surfaces:
You should always place babies on a firm, flat surface - that means no bean bags or padded furniture. Consider putting down a mat or towel too - especially if they're on tiles in the kitchen, for example. You want your baby to be comfortable and content.
2) Leaving them:
You should never, ever leave a baby alone on his/her tummy. It's dangerous and simply not worth the risk.
3) Unrealistic expectations:
Yes it's an important activity - but your baby might take his or her time getting to grips with tummy time. So don't panic, and stick with it if they get cranky or upset when you initially give it a go. Start off with two-minute slots a few times a day - gradually building up to five minutes or longer.
Sometimes your baby might resist tummy time simply because they find it boring and they'd rather be held. So put toys around them in arm's reach. Try mirrors or rattles too. And definitely it can be a good chance to bond too with your little one; get down on the ground with them to interact and play.
It sounds obvious - but a hungry baby will hate tummy-time. So make sure the exercise is during a period of the day when your baby is happy and playful. You probably don't want to do it directly after they've just fed either - small ones are prone to the likes of reflux and spitting up; wait at least 30 minutes.