The hot summer weather takes a toll on babies as well as their caregivers. One can only imagine how extra warm it is being held to be fed, comforted and transported about. While babies need and thrive on human contact they also can get overheated quickly. Well-meaning parents sometimes over dress and over-wrap up small infants and should take into consideration the temperature when making these decisions. There is nothing wrong with a baby wearing only a diaper or going au natural for short periods of time (on a waterproof pad of course: ) .
Putting babies on their tummies on a blanket on the floor or in a play yard is also a nice variation for them. Research shows that this position is important for development of proper muscles babies need to push-up and crawl. The Back to Sleep campaign has educated parents to put them on their back for sleeping but we should also use the tummy position during waking time. Some activity mats have a tummy booster that you can position your baby over or you can use a soft pillow or a rolled up towel. As your baby gains strength to hold their own head up they will enjoy reaching for favourite toys and testing different muscles. Get down on the floor and interact with your baby, on an eye to eye level. Some babies may enjoy this activity more than others so stay tuned in to your baby’s cues. Change their position or conclude tummy time if they get fussy. Repeat this activity each day and encourage the baby to spend a little longer each time. Change the toys or props that you provide to entertain them and sing or chat to your baby to make this an enjoyable routine.
Sharon Brooks RECE