An invite to a baby shower can make you panic – especially if you don’t have children and have no idea what to buy the expectant mother. We might be a little biased, but we can’t help but think you can’t go past a beautiful baby play mat – the perfect baby shower gift for new mums.
Help new mums
If you are about to have a newborn baby in your life, then before long, you will start hearing about tummy time. New parents can easily forget tummy time between getting the hang of feeding, changing dirty nappies, and trying to sort out sleep cycles (or lack of sleep!).
Help a new mum out with a Ludere padded foam or French linen play mat and make this one aspect of parenthood a little easier.
Read on for all the information you need to help make tummy time a fun way for family and friends to bond with the new baby.
Why is tummy time so important?
Tummy time is an essential part of infant development. Time spent lying on their tummies helps strengthen your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles, the first step in developing gross movement skills like rolling and crawling.
Tummy time can help mitigate plagiocephaly, the flat spots on the back or sides of a baby’s head that can develop from sleeping on their backs for extended periods. When they lay on their tummies, babies must lift their heads to look around, which engages the muscles on the back of the neck.
These muscles gently put tension on the back of the skull (where they attach), helping to round out the shape of the head. The body is fantastic.
When should I start tummy time?
When your baby is a newborn, laying them on your chest for skin-to-skin contact is a fantastic way to bond with your newborn and your baby’s first introduction to tummy time. There are several other positions you can also use in the first weeks to encourage neck strength:
- Lay the baby face down with your arm under their belly, so their face is resting against your elbow (tiger in tree pose)
- Carry the baby upright against your shoulder or your chest in a carrier
- Lay your baby face down across your knees (this can also help with wind; gently rub them on their back)
- Lie down and place the baby on your tummy, so they need to lift their head to see your face.
After the first few weeks, it’s time to introduce the baby to one of our lovely and safe baby play mats.
How much tummy time does my baby need?
Below is a rough guideline based on age recommendations. Keep in mind that this is a general guide and is cumulative across the day during the baby’s awake periods, rather than all in one go.
- Newborns - 2 months: minimum 30 mins per day
- 2 - 4 months: minimum 45-90 mins per day
- 4 - 6 months: minimum 1-2 hours per day
- 6 - 8 months: most waking hours will be spent in tummy time or sitting/learning to sit
How can I make tummy time fun for my baby?
The easiest way to make tummy time fun is to get involved. Babies love attention and eye contact. Lay down on a large baby play mat and play peek-a-boo, call their name, make funny noises, or pull silly faces.
Placing brightly coloured toys around them will help motivate them to try to move and keep them entertained.
Why doesn’t my baby like tummy time?
Chest-to-chest contact with your baby is warm and snuggly, making them feel secure. Changing from that warm, safe feeling to lying on a cold hard surface is uncomfortable and distressing. Using a baby play mat can help your little one enjoy tummy time.
We designed our padded foam play mats and French linen play mats with safety and comfort in mind. However, there may be other reasons your baby isn’t enjoying tummy time.
Here are some of the most common reasons babies may dislike tummy time.
- They can’t hold their head up and get frightened.
Place a small rolled-up towel under their arms and chest to add support when they are tiny. If your baby starts crying or becoming distressed within 1-2 minutes of tummy time, give them a cuddle to reassure them, and try again later.
- They want you close
Lay down next to them on your large baby play mat to reassure them that you are near and gently rub their lower back.
- They have wind or reflux
Try tummy time at different times throughout the day (preferably not straight after a feed). If your baby has reflux, wait at least 30 minutes after feeding before placing them on their bellies, or they might bring up all their food.
The key to successful tummy time is to have a comfortable baby play mat and to keep trying! Over time you’ll notice your baby’s tummy time tolerance will improve. They’ll start to get stronger, and before you know it, they will be trying to roll over and then starting to crawl!
LUDERE – PLAY IN STYLE
Our stylish and attractive padded foam play mats are high-quality TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). Our range is robust, free of harmful and toxic chemicals, and beautifully designed.
Ludere’s linen baby play mats are all-natural 100% French linen Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified. When you buy a baby play mat for Ludere, you can be confident there are no nasty harmful substances used in production. Choose Ludere for your luxurious and stylish baby play mats today.
Our baby play mats are the perfect gift for expectant and new mothers, so explore our range today.
Follow us on Instagram.