• Teach Tummy Time
Help your baby ‘accept’ and eventually love tummy time. Supervised tummy time as early as 3 to 4 weeks, using a boppy pillow or small towel roll under the chest is encouraged and an appropriate step toward developing strong healthy balanced muscles, full neckrange of motion and a nice round head. Most babies fatigue quickly when first introduced to tummy time, and they let us know by showing discomfort and eventually crying. In the tummy time position, in order for a baby to see their environment, they have to actively lift up their head, using their neck extensor muscles. These muscles, along with other muscles responsible for helping a baby push their body up off the mat and eventually start crawling, are only strengthened when the baby is in the prone position. The more practice you give your baby, several times a day, the stronger these muscles get, and the sooner you will see your baby progress through developmental milestones.
• Alternate Your Baby’s Head Positions
When putting your baby down to sleep on his/her back, make sure to alternate the position of his/her head on a regular basis, to prevent any flattening on the back of the head. Because a baby’s head is so malleable up until about 12 months of age, any prolonged contact with any surface: crib, car seat or stroller can be enough to eventually cause the point of contact to deform, or flatten.
• Make Sure Your Baby is Looking Around
When holding your baby in an ‘upright’ position (head up), be sure to engage him/her to look as far as he/she can look over both shoulders. This will ensure healthy development of neck range of motion and minimize any favoring which can lead to other complications.