Please welcome our guest article feature, prepared by Local Physiotherapist and Mother - Sarah Ransom. Sarah shares with us her knowledge and recommendations from her professional career as a Physiotherapist, covering the topic of 'Tummy Time'.

Hi everyone, my name is Sarah and I am a physiotherapist working locally with children at 1 Stop Paediatric Services. I am also a Mum to my son Mitchell, who is 8 months old. Becoming a Mum has really opened up my eyes to just how truly amazing all the Mum's out there are, and also how lucky we are to be able nurture our beautiful bubs and watch them grow and develop!

Everyday there is something new and amazing they have learnt and to share their experiences with them is something very precious. Motherhood has also given me a new perspective and appreciation for the families and children that I have the joy of working with in my profession. Chances are, you would be very familiar with the Red Noses Campaign about the importance of putting babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. However, we must not forget about the importance of placing babies on their tummy to play, but only when they are awake and under direct supervision.

You might be asking yourself though, why is tummy time so important for my babies development?

✖️Playing and interacting with your baby on their tummy helps to improve their head and neck control, as it strengthens the muscles of their neck, back and upper body which are needed to help your baby reach developmental milestones such as; rolling, sitting, crawling and walking. ✖️As babies spend a large amount of time sleeping on their backs, playing with your baby on their tummy has also been shown to reduce the risk of your baby developing flat spots on their head (positional plagiocephaly). ✖️Tummy time also allows your baby to view and explore the world from a different perspective, developing their sensory experiences. ✖️It is recommended that tummy time is started from a newborn age. You may be surprised to learn that most newborns tolerate this position really well and by beginning tummy time early on, helps to increase your babies tolerance to play on their tummy. ✖️To begin with your baby may only tolerate 1-2 minutes on their tummy at a time but, by aiming for short periods of time, often throughout the day, as your baby grows and shows enjoyment spending time on their tummy, you can increase this length of time. ✖️What if your baby doesn’t enjoy being on their tummy? It is still important to incorporate tummy time as a part of your day and the easiest way to do this, is to make it a part of your daily routine. This may be that you put them on their tummy to play when they first wake up after a nap or every time after a nappy change.

✖️Make it enjoyable for your baby by getting down to their level and lying on the floor with them; place toys just out in front of them or a mirror to encourage them to look and lift their head or lie with your baby on your chest so you can look at each other, smile and talk together and make the experience really positive. ✖️Playing with your baby should be a fun and enjoyable experience for both yourself and your baby. If you have any concerns about your child’s development- seek help from a health professional. Please don’t forget- back to sleep, tummy to PLAY!

For more information on tummy time, physiotherapy services, or to get in contact with Sarah, please don't hesitate to contact us for details.

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