by Julie Trotter, Newborn Care Specialist and Birth Doula at The Happiest Doulas
Tummy Time Tip:
Watch your baby as he sleeps and note if he tends to hold his head toward one direction more than the other. If so, be sure to change the direction of his head so he spends an equal amount of time lying on both sides to prevent flatness.
Tummy time is of huge importance to help prevent Plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. In a culture where we can not always hold our babies or have someone else hold them, it leads to babies being flat on their backs for longer periods of time. Tummy time will give your baby the ability to not only avoid flat head syndrome, but help promote pushing up, crawling, rolling over, sitting up and eventually pulling to a stand.
Tummy time can be a great time to bond with your baby skin to skin. Undress your baby down to his diaper and place him on your skin at your chest as you recline in bed or in a chair. Your baby will likely snuggle right in and love the position and warmth from your body. You can also do tummy time by placing your baby on your lap or on a semi firm surface like a blanket over the carpet. As your baby gets older and has more head control there are great tummy time toys that you can utilize like the Fisher-Price Rainforest Activity Gym.
A great tip to remember to help avoid flat head syndrome when placing baby on his back for sleeping is be sure to watch your baby as he sleeps and note if he tends to hold his head toward one direction more than the other. Be sure to move his head the other direction so he's on both sides equally to prevent flatness on one side.