Our babies spend so much time on their backs. They sleep on their backs, get changed on their backs, and play on their backs. They spend a ton of time just staring up at the ceiling!
How do we give our babies an opportunity to experience the world around them from other perspectives?
We can lay them on our chests or legs, get creative with nursing positions, put them in a carrier or practice tummy time. All of these practices help to build a baby's core strength.
Tummy time is when you intentionally place your baby onto their tummies. It is hard work and most babies really don't enjoy it.
Regardless of a baby's disinterest in the practice, many professionals recommend that babies engage in tummy time from the moment they come home from the hospital. The reason is:
The pediatric push for tummy time and the Montessori philosophy don't align perfectly.
Since the Montessori philosophy really focuses on the child's natural readiness to approach different activities, some people in the Montessori community feel that a baby should only be placed on their tummy when they are able to roll onto their tummy themselves.
Is there a happy medium?
Since there are multiple benefits to tummy time, some Montessori parents will offer the opportunity for tummy time but observe their child to determine how long they are able to stay on their tummies. When they sense their baby has had enough, they stop.
By offering tummy time in small, short doses, a baby will still get stronger and tummy time will get much easier...and more enjoyable!
Remember that time spent in a carrier, or nursing, or lying on a parent's chest are also very important ways to build up a baby's core strength.
But if you choose to practice tummy time with your baby, there are ways to try to make it more enjoyable.
If you are feeling pressured by your doctor or fellow mamas to do tummy time but you do not feel comfortable with it, know that many people who take a Montessori approach, choose not to do tummy time until their baby is rolling independently, which is a 4 month milestone.
Rest easy knowing that around 4-6 months, your baby should be getting approximately 15 minutes of tummy time per day NATURALLY. You won’t have to allocate specific time to practicing tummy time because baby’s natural play will include lying on the tummy, rolling over, pivoting, scooching and crawling.
We always encourage our mamas to do what feels right.
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