Friday, October 29, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 93: Tummy Time Series - yoga/balance ball

By now baby is getting fairly good at lifting their head for short periods of time. Add some fun to tummy time by getting out a yoga or balance ball. Place baby tummy down on the center of the ball and gently roll them forward and backward – just remember to never take your hands off of your baby! They will enjoy the new sensation of rolling and give them plenty of opportunity to lift their heads and look around!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 92: Tummy Time Series - 4 months

By about 4 months your baby should be able to lift her chest off the floor and lean on her elbows with her head up.

Help stimulate her muscles by gently rubbing her back in a circular motion between the shoulder blades and up and down her back.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 91: Tummy Time Series - please move your head

Okay, now that baby has his head up during tummy time, let’s get him to move it around. While he is on his tummy, hold a toy where he can see it at eye level, then slowly move it upward and see if he can move his head up and follow the toy. Bring the toy back down to give baby’s neck muscles a rest, then continue a few more times.

Eventually move the toy side to side to encourage sideways head movement. Now you are having some great interaction and progressing your baby’s motor development!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 90: Tummy Time Series - bath time

As you attempt to get an hour per day total by the end of 3 months you may think, “Where do I find the time?” Incorporating tummy time into the day is easy! How about bath time?

Naturally you do not want baby’s head falling into the water, so this activity is best saved for when he is already doing well with holding up his head. However, it is also best when baby is small enough to be in the sink. Sit him in the sink with his arms resting outside the sink. He will naturally have to hold up his head!

My photo is steamed up as this is a photo of my son’s actual bath!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 89: Tummy Time Series - 3 months

Slowly increase the amount of tummy time per day aiming to get an hour per day total by the end of 3 months. This shouldn’t be one consecutive hour, but several session throughout the day that are an hour in total.

Continue to encourage your baby to hold up his head by putting a toy in front of him. Don’t place it where he can reach it; place it a little distance away so he can think about what he has to do in order to reach it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 88: Tummy Time Series - mirror, mirror

Mirrors are like magic to babies. They are drawn to the moving and reactionary vision she sees. For this reason incorporate the use of a mirror during tummy time. Position a mirror so that your baby must lift her head in order to see herself. The level may be flat on the floor when you first start tummy time, then eventually at a 90 degree angle within 3 months or so.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 87: Tummy Time Series - non-traditional

Tummy time is instrumental for infants to build their head and neck muscles which is the foundation for eventually rolling, crawling, and walking. Tummy time however does not have to be done with baby on the floor. Tummy time can also be done by laying baby, tummy-side down, securely across your legs keeping one hand on her back. This position requires her to pick her head up in order to look around or find your voice. For very small infants, the time they lift their head will be extremely brief but you will find as time goes on they get stronger and can keep their heads up a lot longer.

Laying baby across your legs, call your baby’s name or with your free hand gently shake a rattle. Watch as baby lifts her head to find the source of the sound. Repeat several times trying to get baby to look in the different directions. For added stimulation, make this tummy time with skin-to-skin contact by having baby wear just a diaper and you wear shorts or a skirt.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 86: Tummy Time Series - 2 months

Don’t be concerned if your 2-month old is not yet up to 15 minutes of tummy time per session. Any time spent in a position where she has to try and hold up her own head is strengthening her upper body, helping her gain head control, and strengthening the muscles in her arms and neck.

Encourage baby to look up by getting down. Yes, you! Get down on the floor with your baby face-to-face. Try to get her to meet you eye-to-eye even if for a moment or two. Sing a song or call her name and make tummy time an interactive experience.

Or get some siblings in on the action!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 85: Tummy Time Series - airplane

The purpose of tummy time is to encourage your baby’s motor development which proceeds from the head down. So any time he has to hold up his own head he is progressing towards greater motor development. A great variation to lying baby on the floor for tummy time is to hold him up like an airplane.

Hold your baby tummy-side down and lift him up or even better gently “fly” him around the room. You may naturally find yourself making propeller sounds or singing a silly song about flying. What fun!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 84: Tummy Time Series - football hold

Some babies don’t object to being laid down on their stomachs so much as being laid down at all. If your baby is craving contact with you, give it to her. A great variation to putting your baby on the floor for tummy time is holding baby in the football hold. When you do this, you place baby’s tummy across your forearm. This helps baby get used to having some pressure on his stomach.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Inant Stimulation Acitivity 83: Tummy Time Series - 1 month

Within baby’s first month he should work up to 15 minutes of tummy time. Start out in small increments, even minutes at a time a couple of times a day. If he fusses when you first put him down, try not to adjust his position. Give him another 30 seconds or so to see if he adjusts to the position or is able to reposition himself.

If your baby is just not having a good time on the floor then try letting him lie on your chest so he can look around more easily without as much of a struggle. Surely having you to look up to will be encouragement as well as happiness.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 82: Tummy Time Series - giving baby her props

Yes, tummy time can seemingly be a tough time for baby. He is lifting his head, or at least trying to, and it just looks so hard. Well, it is okay to prop him up. Use a pillow or rolled-up baby blanket to prop up baby so when he is tummy-side down his head has some help staying up. Be very certain not to leave your baby alone as you do not want his face ending up in the pillow or blanket.

Know that the more tummy time you give your baby the more he will learn to enjoy it. Be sure to get out your camera from the beginning so you can capture your baby’s progress. You’ll find it truly amazing to go back and see the development!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 81: Tummy Time Series - newborn

It is not uncommon to begin tummy time when a baby is only 2 weeks old. One of the best ways to get baby comfortable is to incorporate skin-to-skin contact. Enjoy some tummy-to-tummy time (or tummy-to-chest) with your baby by laying her bare belly onto your bare belly or chest. This is a great time to chat with her, sing her a song, or even just enjoy the sensation of being together . . . literally.

If you are doing several tummy time session a day, a few minutes each session, then this is a great activity to do as one of your first sessions of the day or even one of your last - perhaps after bath time when baby is already undressed and you both would enjoy some closeness at the end of the day.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Infant Stimulation Activity 80: Tummy Time Series - introduction

Did you know that an infant’s motor development starts with the head and moves down the body? Yes, babies develop from the top down. They hold their heads up before they can use their back to sit. This is why tummy time and development of your infant’s head control is so important.

The development of a baby’s ability to lift his head is the foundation for him to raise his shoulders, learn to roll, then sit, stand, and finally walk. It all begins with placing a baby on his tummy and creating the need for him to lift his head. And tummy time is not only important, but it is easy!

Spread a blanket on the floor, lay your baby tummy-side down, and then get right down on the floor with him. Within your baby’s first month start with short sessions, even a minute or two, so that within that first month your baby can work up to 15 minutes of continual tummy time. Really, even a few minutes a day a few times a day will get baby to this goal.