After my baby massage session with Swati (to read more about this baby massage), I challenged myself and my partner to always put our baby on his tummy for playtime and to just use a mat and toys (with no bouncer). This instinctively felt good to me as I did not want my flat filled with stuff. It seemed like a more natural way for a baby to develop even after everything I have read and researched about the toys and gadgets within the baby product market.
After a month of doing this, here are some reflections:
1. He enjoyed it!
I was surprised how much he enjoyed it. Most of all he liked observing us. A health visitor had advised me to prop him up into sitting because she said he wanted to observe. I did not follow her advice, as he seemed totally comfortable observing from his tummy. During the month, he also became more and more independent playing with toys on his tummy.
2. A big mat helped
This seemed to encourage him to roll and move around more. When we hung toys above him, this restricted his ability to roll. During the month he started rolling from his front to his back and from his back to his front without much encouragement from us. This all came from putting him on his tummy and placing a few toys around him.
Here is a short clip of some of his movements when he is on his #Tummy #TummyTimeForPlay #HappyBaby
When he burps, he brings up milk. Tummy time was very effective for getting him to burp, so we had to be ready to clean up the mess.
When tired, he found tummy time tough and tolerated being on his back better.
Swati helped to reassure us about how he was developing and also the importance of tummy time, this definitely helped my own concerns around putting him on his front. It seems a shame that more of this is not promoted by all the health care professionals we met, both during the antenatal and postnatal periods.
We will keep putting him on his tummy! We may put him on his side or his back or in supported sitting if we need to get a task done, but otherwise we’ll stick with tummy time.
2 months later..
Our baby loves to be on his tummy! He tends to go to this position for comfort now, which can be quite challenging if we’re trying to change his nappy. I’ve now learnt how to change his clothes and sometimes his nappy, while he is on his front! My uncle said to me last week ‘that’s his domain’ when he was on his tummy. It seems to give him the right balance of comfort and freedom and he is now starting to roll, which is a great way for him to explore his environment (another great use of this large floor mat!).