Why Floor Time is Essential For Your Baby: Importance, Guide, Activities
Baby’s time to explore the floor on his tummy is his first exercise. Make the most out of baby’s floor time with this handy guide.
When my eldest rolled over for the first time, I was excited beyond words. Well, this is a milestone! You, too, should be happy on your baby’s accomplishment. This rolling over is the start of a new phase in your child’s life.
Rolling over is the first step towards crawling. I know it can be very challenging to control those active little fellas and that’s why you end up putting them in the cot or playpen. But, don’t you think it’s wrong? It probably is. This is the time when you can engage your baby with the much needed “tummy time”.
Baby floor time is very important for your baby’s growth. Many studies suggest that baby floor time helps baby build physical strength and it improves mental health.
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Importance of Baby Floor Time
When to start floor time with baby? Tummy time shouldn’t start when your baby has learned to roll over. You can start giving your baby floor time soon after birth. You can start with 1-2 minutes a day and increase the time as the baby grows. But, the question is, why is it so important?
Enhances physical activity of your baby
Exercise is as important for babies as it is for grownups. The best way for the baby to get some exercise is by placing him on his tummy. Babies like playing, moving and wiggling. When put on the floor, the babies bend, reach and kick. Tummy time helps build their muscle strength which will be required for crawling and walking.
Babies spend a lot of time in their crib from the time they are born till they start to sit. Beware of the consequences. Lying down for longer periods of time can flatten the base of the skull and it can also lead to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Studies show that babies with flat head syndrome are at risk of developmental delays. The skull can return to normal shape if your baby spends some time on the tummy. Furthermore, it also helps in the circulation of blood.
Contributes to baby’s growth
As the baby grows, he experiences new things. Tummy time gives your baby a chance to look at the world around him from a different angle. How cute does the baby look with his little head popped up? But, to do that, his neck muscles should be strong. Tummy time is a wonderful exercise that helps babies build up the muscles of their heads and necks and prepares them for more complex milestones.
Boost the confidence of your baby
Tummy time should always be done under supervision of parents. It gives you a chance to spend some quality time with your baby. When the parent is around, the baby feels important and loved. This helps develop a solid relationship, promotes trust and builds the self-esteem of your baby.
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A Guide for Managing Baby Floor Time
Floor time has proven benefits. While doing floor time with your baby, here are some key points that you should keep in mind.
Babies require tummy time depending on their age. For a newborn baby, the recommended time is 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can make a routine of tummy time after every diaper change. Recommended time for a 2-month old baby is 3-5 minutes. You may leave the baby on his tummy for longer periods when your baby grows older because older children require additional time to build up strength.
Prepare the floor
This is the most essential point you should keep in mind while doing tummy time. Nothing is more important than your baby’s safety and health. Before beginning your baby’s floor time, always clean the floor with a good antibacterial cleaner and eliminate all the minor and harmful things around.
Prop him up
On the play mat or on the clean blanket, place your baby on his tummy. Gather his favorite toys and place them within reach. You can assist tummy time by placing a pillow or cushion under his chest and shoulders.
Make floor time a priority every day. Don’t ignore him; watch, chat and initiate face-to-face interaction with your kid. To stimulate language development, giggle, sing or imitate your baby’s noises. For many reasons, this undisturbed time with your infant is valuable and highly important.
Fun Activities for Baby Floor Time
Are you looking for fun yet beneficial baby floor-time activities? Try these out!
For this activity, you’ll need a sponge ball, plush animal, or a tiny, soft, colorful toy.
When your baby lies on the tummy, position the object in front of his face and move it slowly to catch the baby’s attention. Then move the toy side by side and make your baby follow it with his eyes.
This will help your baby learn to focus and monitor visuals.
Follow the leader
See how many movements your youngster can follow in one row, tap on the table, open, close, clap and point with your finger. Begin with anything your kid has been doing regularly, like tapping on the floor with your hand. Introduce additional and more complicated moves to boost the difficulty, but pay attention to the emotions of your babies. If the action feels frustrating, cut back.
Through this activity, your baby can enhance his memory.
Grabbing and pushing things
Place an empty basket in front of your baby and put his favorite toy in it. See if he can approach it. The basket should be lightweight and harmless. Bring the basket closer to him; you can also lay it down horizontally so your baby can grab the toy easily.
It will develop the sense of struggle in your baby and let him approach his favorite things.
Speak to your baby utilizing dramatic speech tones. Watch the facial expressions of your infant and observe how they react to various pitches. Don’t use harsh words and loud voices. It can startle him.
With this, you can help him with language development.
If your child is on the tummy or having floor time, they need to view faces and things up, left, and right. Swinging his head around moves his skull around and strengthens his neck, arms and trunk. Those muscles are going to enable them to sit down and walk later on. This phase of development plays a crucial role in his life. So, don’t make it a battle and always take out some time to have beneficial baby floor time. You will be proud of it in the future.