This September we happily added Ellynne Skove MA, LCAT, BC-DTR, NCC, RPP to our teaching roster. Ellynne has taken over the Tummy Time program at Prenatal Yoga Center. For those who are not familiar with Tummy Time or the importance of incorporating it into your infant’s daily life, Ellynne has kindly shared an article she wrote about the subject. Hope you enjoy this fascinating piece!
More and more babies are being put to sleep on their backs as a result of pediatricians recommendations to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. While this practice is suggested for safety and health, many babies are missing out on crucial awake hours of TUMMY TIME due to the habit of placing babies on their backs. Babies are on their backs in strollers, car seats, bouncy seats, & with many play gyms. Tummy Time is becoming lost to our modern inventions.
What is TUMMY TIME?
Homologous movement is from head to tail. This is seen with the lifting of the head and chest, the pushing of the tummy, arms, and later hands, into the floor to lift and reach the chest, head, and eyes. From the tail we see the lifting of the tailbone upward into what looks a lot like the yoga pose called awkward pose or knees, chest, and chin. The feet may try to push into the floor. Sometimes there is a push pull kind of rocking from head to toes that occurs. As homologous movements develop, naval radiation movements lessen. At the earliest stages the babys feet do not touch the ground. Once they do a lot more movement begins.
The baby becomes even more alert and curious as the senses engage more fully and the body develops muscle and bone strength. Homolateral movements are same sided. Often we see the baby put her foot into her mouth and hold it there with the same hand. This is both homologous and homolateral. This is often the precursor puzzle piece to side lying and later rolling. Once these are mastered Tummy Time is often much more comfortable. The baby begins to use her hands to when on her belly, and we see the ability to move in circles and then movement backwards. This takes immense strength and sets the tone for Creeping or, commando crawling, on the belly like a salamander, which is a homolateral movement. Jumping Jacks are an upright homolateral movement. If we try to walk homolaterally we end up walking like Frankenstein, or a penguin. It is awkward and the flow of breath and movement through the center of the body is constricted.
Try not to place your baby in a free sitting position before crawling. Allowing your baby to put her Developmental Movement puzzle pieces together herself to find her way to sitting independently is not only better for her spine, but also for her sense of self accomplishment! Until your baby can sit independently have her sit in a semi reclined position. This could include your lap, a bouncy seat, a reclining high chair, or a car seat. There are some products on the market that claim to help your baby learn to sit. Molded plastic seats that force your baby into a position before your baby can sit independently can actually cause damage to the spine and neck. When the baby is ready to sit, she will do so on her own. This is when her body is now truly developed in spinal strength to hold up that big baby head!
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