Library’s Tummy Time Programs Support Infant Learning and Development
By Arlington Public Library
Posted on August 29, 2017, August 29, 2017

New babies are sponges for information. Parents and caregivers with newborns know that their babies still need to learn everything! Infants have a lot of work to do before they read, talk, walk, crawl, or hit other milestones. Brain and body development are both important as babies learn skills like focusing their eyes, lifting their heads, controlling their hands, and more.

Luckily, these things are easy to learn from a baby's first and best teacher: their parent. Read on for easy ways to work learning into your family's life, all while spending time and bonding with your new child.

Keep baby involved in your day

Babies absorb a variety of knowledge and skills simply by observation! Find ways to put your baby in the center of the action. Hold them in your laps at mealtimes. Carry them in your arms at the grocery store. Discover what chores you can safely do one-handed and keep your baby on your hip while you do these. Your child will love being close to you while learning the routines of life.

Talk it up

Infants are learning language long before they have the skills to talk to you. Talk to your children as much as you can, as early as you can. Vocabulary is very important in comprehension, but babies also pick up on tone of voice, gestures, facial expression, and body language. Don't feel silly about having a one-sided conversation, either! Your baby will start watching you and answering back before you know it.

Build muscles with tummy time

Newborns need strong neck, shoulder and back muscles to start sitting up, crawling and walking. Help your baby build these muscles with tummy time! Place your waking baby on their stomach and supervise while they explore. Even newborns can benefit from three to five minutes of tummy time, two or three times a day. Add more or longer tummy time sessions as they get stronger. Try tummy time after a nap or diaper change. It's a great time to sit in front of them and bond.

Your baby may be frustrated to be face down, but spending a few minutes on their tummy builds important muscles and improves motor skills. It also helps prevent flat spots on the back of their head.

While the National Institute of Health encourages every baby to enjoy tummy time, they also remind us that it's safest for babies to sleep on their backs.

Learn more

Parents, you are your baby's most important teacher. Make sure you keep learning with our free library resources! We're offering free Tummy Time workshops at the Lake Arlington Branch Library and East Arlington Branch Library this fall. Each class is a four-week series designed for babies (six months and younger) along with their caregivers. Learn how to support your child as they grow.

Click for information on each session:

East Arlington Branch Library, Lake Arlington Branch Library, Support Quality Education
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