One of the most effective strategies to prevent abnormal head shapes in children is to incorporate and master Tummy Time activities when you bring your newborn home. Tummy Time is crucial for an infant’s growth, with the initial three to four months being particularly vital for developing the muscles and coordination needed for future physical milestones like rolling and crawling. Here are five Tummy Time activities from The Cranial Center that you can integrate into your daily care routine to bond with your child:

Chest Positioning
Recline with your baby on your chest. This helps your baby develop the muscle strength and movements necessary for head control and, eventually, for skills like sitting, crawling, and rolling. Occasionally lift your child’s head to encourage interaction and play, turning their head from side to side to improve neck flexibility and avoid favoring one side.

Interactive Play
Lie on your tummy alongside your baby and introduce toys within reach to enhance their hand-eye coordination and motor skills. Engaging with your child during Tummy Time not only makes it enjoyable but is also essential for supervision.

Superman Carry
Carrying your baby facing outward mimics the vertical aspect of Tummy Time, strengthening their neck and trunk muscles. Support their head and chest to encourage looking around, which aids in visual exploration and adds an element of fun, making your baby feel like a little superhero.

Diaper Changes with a Twist
Use diaper changing time to encourage physical activity by rolling your baby from side to side. This not only changes their perspective but also helps them spend more time on their tummy and sides, which is important for balanced physical development. Place toys nearby to make it playful and to stimulate turning their head in different directions.

Music and Movement
Incorporate soft or lively music during Tummy Time to create a cheerful and stimulating environment. Adding a small roll or towel under their chest can improve support and encourage your child to look around their play area. Make sure to keep the atmosphere fun and engaging!

Stuart Weiner, CPO, LPO and Director of The Cranial Center in New Jersey says, ” I cannot stress enough the importance of Tummy Time in early development. It’s essential for muscle strength and coordination.

Tummy Time is incredibly beneficial for your child’s overall development and helps prevent conditions like plagiocephaly. If you observe any persistent flat spots on your child’s head, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider or an orthotist at The Cranial Center for a professional evaluation regarding the necessity for a corrective headband.

The Cranial Center of New Jersey is one of the first cranial centers on the East Coast specializing in early intervention cranial therapy and helmet therapy treatment. We are certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics. Our facilities are conveniently located in three locations across New Jersey: Hackensack, Hazlet, and Morristown. For more information or a complimentary consultation call (800) 685-9116 or email us at info AT cranialcenter.com.

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