How lack of Tummy Time could affect your baby's health
Pediatricians are re-emphasizing the importance of some good tummy time for newborns. Tummy time is essentially when you place your little one on its belly, when the baby is awake and supervised by an elder. There are no defined guidelines to start tummy time. It can start as soon as your baby is born and should continue until the baby can support its body with hands and keep the chest up.
However, some kids do not enjoy being on their bellies and can raise a colossal fuss. But, inadequate tummy time cannot be an option. It could remarkably delay your child’s overall physical and cognitive development. Here are five reasons you must give your little one enough time on the stomach.
Plagiocephaly or Flat Head
Flat Head Syndrome, medically known as Plagiocephaly is a common condition that affects nearly one in every two infants today. In some kids, the condition is found to be severe, leading to a visibly abnormal flat spot on the baby’s head. In such cases, the flat head is treated by using a helmet. Placing your baby constantly on the back and giving her insufficient tummy time could cause a flat head before you even realize it. It is best to lay your baby on the back to sleep and on the belly during playtime.
Delayed motor skills development
Do you sometimes wonder why some babies are able to crawl, roll over and sit up much faster compared to other babies of the same age? Tummy time could be the secret behind it. Tummy time helps in developing early key motor skills appropriately, helping your child reach the major infant development milestones at the right time. If you notice a delay in your baby’s motor skill development, it’s perhaps time to increase her time on the stomach.
Bad posture and tilted head
Laying your baby on the tummy allows her to hold her body against the force of gravity, activating the vestibular system. It eventually affects your child’s overall body posture, head and neck strength and the development of the spinal cord as well. Give your baby enough time on the belly to prevent head and neck imbalance and inappropriate body posture symptoms like tilted head, hunched back and rounded shoulders.
Difficulty in visual tracking
Tummy time activities such as placing your baby on a play mat in front of a mirror or colorful toys are crucial in sensory development, especially hand-eye coordination. Tummy time encourages your baby to hold the head up in the air and look around from a different perspective, developing both near and far vision. Insufficient tummy time may hamper your child’s hand-eye coordination and visual tracking. You may not necessarily recognize it early on, but it could affect your baby’s handwriting and performance in outdoor sports in the later years.
Tummy time is also said to help improve digestion in infants as it is just like a little workout and a gentle rub on their bellies. It helps releasing abdominal gases, making digestion easier for newborns. Nursing experts recommend extra tummy time for babies who have digestive troubles like spitting up or feeding intolerance.
Find out more about tummy time for babies.
Pediatricians recommend a minimum of 15 minutes twice a day for your child’s timely sensory, motor and cognitive development. A little tummy time each day goes a long way. It has more benefits on your infant’s physical development than you would think of. Start with a few minutes each day and gradually increase the tummy time to make it a part of their routine.
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