Tummy Time babysitting tips
Tummy Time babysitting tips definitely help youth babysitters keep an infant safe. And these safety reminders from medical experts are great reminders for parents, too!
At issue is that an infant enjoying tummy time must be continually supervised. They must be watched in case they begin to fall asleep. An infant sleeping on their stomach is of instant concern, a safety issue regarding the tragedy of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Since 1992 when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) began to educate the public about how SIDS happens and the best advice on how to avoid a little infant suffering SIDS, the incidence of SIDS has decreased by 50%.
While that is encouraging news, SIDS remains the leading cause of death in young infants. It is vital to remember that infants must sleep on their backs, which is why the AAP implemented the “Back To Sleep” campaign; namely, sleep on the back.
What are some great Tummy Time babysitting tips?
Dr. Jay L. Hoecker of Mayo Clinic recommends “at least 20 minutes of tummy time a day”. The infant can lay on a blanket on the floor with some little toys close by to stimulate activity. Dr. Hoecker states, “The more time babies spend on their tummies, the earlier they might begin to roll over, crawl on their stomachs, crawl on all fours and sit without support”. They are developing muscles in their head and neck, shoulders and legs. It’s all good!
Another great tip comes from the WEBMD site. They recommend “move to the level” of the infant. “Getting down on the ground and doing face-to-face encouragement will reassure a baby that he can did it and it’s OK”.
Use plastic mirrors. A little infant might enjoy lifting her head (developing those muscles!) to look at their reflection in the mirror. Lots of fun!
Involve a sibling. Engaging the older child to join in the fun is a great idea for both ages. As I remind my babysitting class students, two great rules when babysitting are
a) prevent injury and b) stay in the same room with the children. Tummy time is a safe time for everyone.
Sing or tell a story so everyone enjoys themselves. I urge my babysitting students to explore their own talent, their own creativity. Can you tell the story or sing the song with “flair”? Pull out your acting talent!
Never leave an infant alone during Tummy Time.
Not Too Hot – Tummy Time babysitting tip
KidsHealth.org states this advice, “Make sure your baby does not get too warm while sleeping. Some researchers suggest that a baby who gets too warm could go into a deeper sleep, making it more difficult to awaken”. Again, the issue is SIDS.
Extra tips for parents
Pacifiers also have been linked to a lower risk of SIDS.
Having the infant sleep in the same room with the parents (but not the same bed) has also shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Does the parent smoke? Oh, no… Exposure to secondhand smoke doubles a baby’s risk of SIDS.
The family dog might help tummy time be fun!
Click on this YOU TUBE clip for a gentle look at dog and infant together
As always, STAY SAFE!
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Jean Lesmeister, 15 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor
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