When should babies start floor time?
Free the Babies – When should babies start floor time?
It’s important babies start floor time from an early age. Babies are raised in a world full of capsules, prams, swings, bouncers, hammocks, docks… the list is endless. More and more parents look for items to support, hold, and comfort children that it is preventing children from simply lying on the floor to play.
Children who spend most of their day in angled seats or swings are missing the valuable opportunity to stretch, play and work on their gross motor skills. Babies need the opportunity to stretch out and explore their physical world right from the newborn stage.
Let’s learn more about the benefits of baby floor time!
Benefits of Floor Time
Growth of the Skull:
Your baby may spend plenty of time lying down in the swing or in their bassinet or cot on their back. Spending time on the floor, encouraging the baby to move head from side to side and providing lots of opportunity for tummy time is important. A change in posture, such as tummy time, will enable the head to form into a natural shape.
Alleviates Gas Pain:
Parents are far too familiar with their baby’s toilet routines, and gas is an unfortunate occurrence at times. Being gassy is both expected and safe. The issue is, of course, sometimes babies need some help moving the gas along. Tummy time, can help as it places gentle pressure on the tummy which can alleviate gas. Lying on the back and allowing the baby to move and kick their legs can also help move gas along.
Allowing your child to feel the floor and play on it will help him or her develop spatial awareness. The child will appreciate and learn to recognize the environment better and gradually as they become older will be mindful of barriers such as tables, couches, or stairs.
Your child can learn to balance while lying on the floor. It is a natural phenomenon for your baby to turn sideways, backward, or upwards when lying on his tummy or back.
When to start floor time:
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tummy time can begin when your baby is a newborn. Begin by putting the baby belly down on your chest or over your lap for a few minutes to get them used to the pose. Only don’t do it right after a feeding because the pressure on their full belly can cause them to spit up. You can do so while they are most awake and alert, such as after a diaper change or nap.
Ideas to help babies start floor time
- Get down on your belly with your face next to your baby’s face while he’s on his tummy.
- Make silly gestures, coo, and other sounds to your baby.
- Encourage your baby to grab for you with one hand at tummy time.
- Also, inspire your baby to reach for you.
- Choose toys about level with the floor to entertain and inspire your baby when he or she is on the floor. This allows your baby to reach out and explore the toy.
- Toys that light up and make noise when touched are the best for keeping your baby’s attention and desire to reach for the toy and play with it.
When to pick up the baby:
When your baby exhibits cues like yawning, looks away from your face or the toy, or can no longer support himself when raising his head straight off the floor, remove them from floor play. If your baby is repeatedly distressed and continues to be continues to be upset when doing tummy time, ensure you seek support from a health professional.