Did you know Pediatricians recommend tummy time for your little ones from the day you bring them home from the hospital? 2 to 3 sessions of tummy time 3-5 minutes each day is very beneficial to help develop your baby's arm, shoulders, upper back, and neck muscles. It also helps them develop motor skills (reaching, pulling, rolling over, crawling) as well as preventing flats spots from forming on their heads.
Cognitive development is stimulated when babies are exposed to sights and sounds especially while outdoors. Being in natural daylight helps improve babies' vision, exposes them to Vitamin D which babies need for healthy bone, muscle and teeth development.
Perhaps the best reason to get outdoors and play with your baby is that sun stimulation helps babies with their circadian rhythms, encouraging alertness in the day time and sleepiness at night...and what new parent doesn't want more sleep?
Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors for some tummy play!
Here are a few ideas for parent and baby fun in the sun bonding towel time;
- Use a brightly coloured towel to set baby on their tummy. Babies under 4 months can see shapes and babies over 5 months can also see colours. Lie beside your baby and talk or sing to them. Rubbing their back or massaging their feet is excellent for parent and baby bonding time.
- Place the baby in front of flowers or garden planters for visual stimulation. Place toys on their towel to encourage reaching and grabbing to develop hand/eye coordination skills.
- Play peek- a- boo with your beach towel. Peek a boo helps in the development of your babies visual tracking skills, social skills, builds object permanence, as well as helps develop their sense of humour.
- For older babies, you can take the towel and roll it up and place it across their chest and under their arms and gently hold the ends of the towel behind them to support them to walk around and maybe let them feel the grass or sand under their feet. (However some babies may experience an aversion to grass. This is due to their nervous systems developing and grass or other textures may lead to sensory overload for some infants.) All babies are different so get to know yours!
So grab your favourite towel and get outside with your little ones! It can be both fun and soothing for both mom and baby alike and hopefully you both will get more sleep after your jaunt outdoors. If you don't have a great towel for outdoor play, don't worry we have your back, click here for our favourite lemon bamboo hooded towel!