I find that most children either love or hate tummy time. Some people avoid tummy time altogether. Overwhelmingly my own Montessori community is in favour of it.
Otis was one week old when we started putting him on his tummy. He had the ability to lift his head up and turn it from side to side. We started with one minute at a time. Often he would rest his head on the floor, but he wasn’t uncomfortable. It wasn’t until he was three months old that he was able to hold his head up steadily.
Looking back I have a few suggestions on ways to make tummy time more enjoyable.
1. Keep it short. Start with very brief moments on their tummy and increase the time as the strength of their body increases.
2. Give them something to look at. We installed a wall mirror in our nursery but a safety mirror or high contrast cards (black and white images) on the wall will make your baby happy and give them something to focus on.
3. Give them something to play with. There are lots of small in-hand materials suitable for this age group. Once they have the strength to use their arms while on their tummy, give them a rattle or other toy to use.
4. Make it social. Lie in front of your child and talk, read or sing. Include them in supervised play with siblings.
5. Change the scenery. Use a play-mat and take your child outside, move to a different room or have tummy time at a friend’s house!
Before you know it they are no longer just lifting their heads up. They begin to lift their whole bodies up and eventually… crawl.
How did you approach tummy time?