New parents often have questions about their baby’s head. One concept used in this context is “tummy time” – letting babies spend time on their tummy when they are awake in order to develop their all-important neck muscles.
The advice in Sweden is “Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play”. And just a few short tummy time baby sessions every day are enough!
“A baby is born with some degree of muscle tone and tries to hold up their heavy head as soon as they’re lying on their Mum’s stomach immediately after being born,” says Camilla von Lörinszky at the Barnsjukgymnasten Clinic.
A newborn baby tries to hold up their head immediately after the birth.
Babies like to study their surroundings, so hanging mobiles with distinctive patterns are fun to look at. But faces are by far the most interesting.
Lying on their tummy is also a form of play for babies and is very good for motor skills development. Make tummy time baby sessions a habit each day while the baby is awake and you are close by.
How your baby develops their neck muscles
“Babies really enjoy lying on their tummy when they’re awake. This automatically develops their neck muscles and their motor skills,” Camilla explains.
She is careful to point out that as a parent you shouldn’t exercise your baby in the traditional sense, but you can play with your baby in a way that strengthens their muscles.
A baby also develops their neck muscles when you carry them in a baby carrier, as they will want to peek up at Mum or Dad’s face every now and then.
Text: Anna-Maria Stawreberg