Tummy or Back: Sleeping Time
Unlike adults, babies cannot choose to sleep with their backs or tummies. Healthy babies are to sleep on their backs. It is not suggested for them to try side sleep. To develop the strong muscles, babies need to put on their tummies for short periods. However, the tummies are only used under the control of the mommies.
The followings can be a guidance to create a safe baby’s sleep environment. First, even for a short nap, always place babies on their backs. Second, make sure that the babies are placed on a firm sleep surface that meets current safety standards. Third, free the sleeping area from anything that can cause suffocation or strangulation. Do not cover the baby’s head and face when they are sleeping. Do not place the babies in a smoking environment. Dress the babies appropriately; set the room not to be too hot or too cold. The last pay attention to the safe sleep policy and always make sure that the babies are safe.
Tummy or Back: Playing Time
Gradually, mommies need to put the babies on their tummies since the first time they are home from the birth. The tummy time, however, only lasts for a very short period (about 3-5 minutes). The activity can be done 2 to 3 times a day, when the babies wake up from a nap or when they change the diapers. This tummy time is important for the babies to make them ready to slide and crawl once they are stronger. To make this tummy time more interesting and challenging for the babies, put their toys on the reach so they will instinctively enjoy the position. Sometimes, mommies can lie on their backs and put the babies on their chests. This way, the babies, will develop their muscles as they lift their head and arms when they are trying to see the mommies’ faces. If there are young children, let them play with the babies under the adults’ control.
Tummy or Back: Preventing the Flat Spot
The followings are effort that mommies can do to prevent their babies from having a flat spot at the back of their head as they sleep on their backs. First, vary the part of the crib where the babies are placed. This way, the babies, can lessen the tendency of using one side of the body when they turn towards sounds, objects, or light that make them curious. Second, vary the babies’ position when they are awake too. Do not let them spend too much time in car seats, bouncy chairs, and freestanding swings. Third, balance the time for the babies to play on their tummies and their backs. The last, switch the side that the babies feed on during feeding if they are bottle fed.