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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Planning Twins Tummy Time
Planning Twins Tummy Time

Planned activities support your twins physical, cognitive and emotional development. By 3-months old, your twins are fully engaged and interested in their surroundings and are perfecting their body control, learning to move their limbs at will and following sight and sound with head and eye movements. Your twins are communicating with smiles and babbling, they enjoy each others company and your face probably elicits smiles.

In their busy schedule of feeding, naps, nappy changes and baths, your twins could use a little down time with activities that meet their developmental needs and provide opportunities for bonding, joy and relaxation for you too!

Tummy Time Times Two!

Tummy time is an important part of your twin babies development. It helps to strengthen their back and neck muscles, which is crucial for motor development (roll, crawl, sit, stand and walk). By spending time on their tummies babies learn to move from side to side and this helps them learn to reach and crawl. Its recommended that parents should introduce tummy time from birth, 2-3 times a day for a few minutes, particularly in the first 6 months.

Research shows babies placed on their backs to sleep who were then placed on their front for extra time during the day were able to roll, crawl, sit, pull to stand and eventually walk earlier than those who were mainly placed on their backs. Twins can often have a physical developmental delay versus singletons, so encouraging tummy time will help get them on the right track to meeting their developmental milestones.

Please note: Babies must always be placed on their backs to sleep.

Tummy time is a daytime activity which involves placing your twins on their tummies facing each other, head-to-head, but not too close, so they can wiggle, reach and raise their heads to see each other. Create an interesting environment with an activity mat or colourful blanket and a few toys to encourage grasping and improve hand-eye coordination. This twin interaction will encourage physical movement and conversation. Keep a close watch on your twins during tummy time as they will develop the control and strength to roll over. We recommend starting with short tummy time sessions and increasing the duration over time, start with a few minutes a couple of times a day, increasing this to around 10-15 minutes if possible.

5 Tummy Time Tips

Below are some top tips for tummy time with twins, designed to help you and your twins enjoy the family time together!

Tip 1: Twin Talk! This is an ideal opportunity to talk to your twin babies and make them aware of what you are doing with their bodies so that they can feel comfortable with the process. 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 and encourage them to look forward, left, and right by using rattles, mirrors, music, or toys and praise them for their hard work. They will love having you there, smiling, laughing and talking to them with so much going on in the first few months it can be hard to simply have fun - treat this time as a much deserved break for you too!

Tip 2: Pillow Talk. Some play mats have a built-in tummy time pillow but another simple method of propping them up is to use a small travel pillow or a rolled-up blanket will do the trick too! Pillows provide support under the neck and armpits so that tummy time can be extended. We love the Curiosity Gym as it has a detachable tummy time pillow, however, there is also a Smart Gym and Smart Mat that are perfect for twins tummy time too!

Tip 3: Tune In to Music. 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 baby-specific music. We love the twins-themed Twin Spin CD, great, catchy music with a twins twist!

Tip 4: Schedule Vs Spontaneity. Scheduling tummy time can help ensure that it becomes part of your twins daily routine, however, you can put your babies on the floor at any time. Mums often think their babies should be placed "in" something when they're not being held. Instead, put your babies on the flooron their backs or on their tummiesto 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. You may find one baby loves tummy time and the other can't stand it or at times they may become fussy. Encourage both, and keep at it.

Tip 5: Workout with Mum! Why not take this time to also work on your own exercise routine getting rid of that jelly belly that we all have after the birth of our twins! You could do some gentle exercise on your tum and bum 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 the ok to exercise from your health advisor.

NOTE: 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. This information is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical or developmental concerns should be discussed with your health care professional.

Read more Twins Tips on Language & Development in Twins and Multiples

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