Baby Basics: Tummy Time, Naps, and Bedtime

Tummy Time

It is hugely helpful for babies’ gross motor development to spend a half hour a day on their tummies. This helps develop the muscles that will eventually allow them to push up, roll over, sit up, and crawl. Since babies are most used to hanging out on their backs, this may be a bit of a surprise for a little one, so try to catch them at a time when they aren’t so hungry or tired.

Naps and Bedtime

If you have a long babysitting shift during the day, it’s likely that a baby will need a nap. Parents should let you know if they would like you to put the baby down for a nap at some point in the day. Many parents try to follow a schedule with their infants, so be sure not to put a baby down for a nap just because you think she might be tired. Ask parents if the baby has a naptime or bedtime ritual, as this will help the baby ease into sleep! The safest sleep position for babies is on their backs. Since the National Institute of Child Health initiated the “Back to Sleep” movement in 1994, the rate of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) has decreased by 50%. Keep stuffed animals and pillows out of the crib, and put a baby in a onesie or other sleep clothing instead of using a loose blanket.

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