Infant cognitive development is a topic on the minds of every parent with a baby or young child. But, many might not be sure of how to incorporate infant development into their everyday routines they share with their baby. Tummy time is an easy way to improve your baby’s cognitive development while sharing some quality time you and your baby will enjoy.
Laura Wilhelm’s Treasure Basket Explorations argues that the benefits to tummy time are endless! Tummy time research shows that engaging in tummy time with your baby strengthens their muscles, helps them exercise their eyes, and allows them the chance to respond to sounds in their environment- all important parts of their cognitive development. Wilhelm says “between birth and three months, babies need tummy time- waking time spent on their stomachs during which they can strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles by lifting their heads and chests.”
Tummy time is a crucial part of a baby’s development in that it allows an infant to strengthen his body and mind, all while exploring the world around him. Children learn through exploration, and tummy time is a safe and fun way to allow your baby to engage with their surroundings in a way that will benefit their future learning.
Here are a few ideas you can try with your baby during tummy time today!
Strengthening Muscles, Using the Eyes, and Responding to Sound
- Placing some shiny measuring cups and textured potholders nearby can capture a baby’s gaze and maybe elicit a fleeting smile.
- An empty container that will make noise when it tips over near a baby’s feet presents an opportunity for the child to explore cause and effect as she stretches and kicks while on her back.
- Opening and shutting her hands will provide the infant the possibility to grasp lightweight object, which she will want to explore further by bringing her hands to her mouth.
- Babies show a strong preference for people. They will turn toward a person’s voice, and they prefer familiar voices over those of strangers. They will mimic facial expressions and expect responses to their vocal sounds.