Tummy time isn’t something special, something extra, or something you ‘have to’ do. Tummy time is human time. It’s part of your baby’s — and your, and everyone’s — life on Earth, in gravity.
It’s part of family life. This is where your baby learns to move independently. It’s natural.
But not 20 minutes a day. In fact, no numbers at all. What?
Human time is measured by comfort rather than minutes. Take a taste, and rest. Be there for a second or half a minute with your baby. Or 10 minutes as a family. Every few days maybe.
You can put your baby down to his tummy or his side. From the beginning. Because that’s the beginning of natural, comfortable movement for your baby. After a diaper change, you can roll her to her side, give her a kiss, roll her to her belly, rest here briefly, then slide your hand under her front, so she can stay face down as you first lift her, then bring her into your arms.
But before that comes getting digestion comfortable. In the windows of comfortable digestion, if there are any, place your baby down to her left right front and back.
Sometimes digestion is rough for Baby in the beginning. And rough for parents trying and trying to figure out what might make her more comfortable. I’m so sorry about this. For these days or weeks don’t worry about positioning. If you can lie on your back with comfortable support for your head, and Baby can lie on you on her tummy while she’s asleep, do that. Even sometimes. Even for a few minutes. That will be her tummy time till digestion gets better. Which it will.
And then there will come a point where Baby wants to be put down. You will feel her reaching for things, and space, and movement. She wants to be on her tummy! Start with placing her on her side. From there your baby can roll to her back or her belly if she wants to. With your hand on her hip, feel which way she is going and let her make the small fall to her front or back.
This is the foundation of comfortable independent movement.
When your baby is playing on her tummy, keep her company. Do it together in the early weeks; it's not something she'll want to do without you. Make sure you have pillows for your head/neck. Baby doesn’t need pillows or boppy. If Baby’s uncomfortable help her to roll to her side or her back to rest. She never ‘has’ to stay on her tummy. You'll try again. Every rest period. Hanging out together, gazing, resting, playing.
These are the precious moments of presence, when you can rest into being each other’s everything, with nothing to do but be here, sharing a little window of human time with your baby. And this is enough. Actually, it’s awesome.
Thanks for reading.
I love to hear from you - please let me know how you are doing with your human time and other times!
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When your baby is born it is an amazing, indescribable joy to meet her.
When she comes unexpectedly early -- very early -- you are shocked by her arrival and your unplanned surgery. Now your baby is here: she is beautiful, and she is in an incubator. There is intense joy and stress. How is she? Can she hear you? How long will she have to stay in the NICU? Now your schedule is cancelled and your whole focus is on her. This means helping her ingest as many calories as possible. She must gain, gain, gain in order to thrive.
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Helping you help your baby with On The Way To Walking,
The Essential Guide to Natural Movement Development™
by Lenore Grubinger, RSMT.
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