The first few times you try tummy time with your twins, you might feel a little lost. The following steps provide some guidance and should be incorporated into your daily routine:
- Lay a brightly colored blanket, activity mat, or colorful sheet on the floor. One blanket should suffice for both babies.
- Place both babies on their backs on the blanket, activity mat, or sheet.
- Get on the floor with your babies.
- Place your hand on one baby's back. Some people like to explain what they're doing by saying, "Mommy is putting her hand on your back."
- Place your other hand on the baby's chest, continuing to explain what you are doing if you wish.
- Count to three and gently flip the baby onto his or her tummy.
- Repeat steps 4-6 for the second baby.
- Be an active participant by talking to your babies and providing visual stimulation. Tell your babies that they are doing tummy time. Rub their backs. Encourage them to look forward, left, and right by using rattles, mirrors, music, or toys. Praise them for their hard work by saying, for example, "Great job looking at the elephant on your right side." For added visual stimulation, lie next to your twins so they can see your face or position your twins so that they are facing each other.
- Keep tabs on how the babies are doing. Once they start showing signs of being tired and/or having trouble holding up their heads, return them to their backs one at a time by reversing the process you used to get them on their tummies. Tummy time might last for only a few minutes in the beginning, but getting up over 10 minutes is ideal. At times, one or both babies might fuss. Bear with it. You might also find yourself in a position where one baby loves tummy time and the other can't stand it. Encourage both, and keep at it. Remember, tummy time is good for your babies!
5 Tummy Time Tips
Below are mommy-tested tips for doing tummy time with your twins. We know tummy time can feel like a chore at times. These tips are designed to help you and your twins enjoy the family time together!
Tip 1: Talk, talk, talk! Talk to your babies during tummy time and make them aware of what you are doing with their bodies so that they can feel comfortable with the process. Imagine if, as an adult, you were lying on the ground and someone came and grabbed your leg or moved your body unexpectedly. You probably would be startled or surprised and perhaps also would feel uncomfortable. It's no different for your children.
Tip 2: Use props. Kids' travel pillows are a fantastic way to squeeze in a few more minutes of tummy time before your babies begin to fuss. These pillows provide support under the neck and armpits so that tummy time can be extended. We love this version from REI. (A rolled-up blanket will also do the trick!)
Tip 3: Turn on some tunes. Play upbeat music at a soft volume during tummy time to encourage activity time as opposed to sleep time. Play music you enjoy—it doesn't have to be kid- or baby-specific music. We love the Jack Johnson soundtrack from the "Curious George" movie!
Tip 4: Be spontaneous at times. Scheduling tummy time can help ensure that it becomes part of your babies' daily routine, but you can put your babies on the floor at any time. Moms often think their babies should be placed "in" something when they're not being held. Instead, put your babies on the floor—on their backs or on their tummies—to encourage movement and strength-building skills. When babies are placed "in" something, such as a swing or chair, they are restricted from being able to move all their body parts freely.
Tip 5: Work your abs. Squeeze in your own set of ab work while you are lying on the floor next to your babies. Switch from the left or right side of the tummy time mat to encourage your babies to look from both sides. Of course, first get clearance to exercise from your doctor or health care provider.
NOTE: The information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.