Tummy Time – What You Need to Know

What is Tummy Time?

Tummy Time is one of baby’s first exercises—and the most important!

Tummy Time is the period during the day your baby spends awake and on their stomach. It is a crucial exercise for baby’s motor, visual, and sensory development.

Baby can begin Tummy Time as a newborn. They can continue to do Tummy Time throughout their first year.

Tummy Time: Know the Basics

Why does my baby need Tummy Time?

  • To develop the core muscles of the neck, back, and shoulder muscles
  • To meet developmental milestones
  • To possibly help prevent early motor delays and conditions, such as flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (positional torticollis).

When should my baby start Tummy Time?

As a newborn baby, as soon as they come home from the hospital.

How long should you do Tummy Time?

Aim to achieve at least an hour of Tummy Time total per day by 3 months of age. This hour of Tummy Time can be broken up into smaller parts. From newborn age, start with a few minutes at a time and build up to longer sessions.

How often should you do Tummy Time?

Start with small increments of a few minutes at a time, several times a day. Eventually, try to do longer Tummy Time sessions, eventually building up to a full hour.

At what age should baby stop Tummy Time?

Once baby begins crawling, around 7-9 months, they will be getting the developmental benefits of Tummy Time while moving, and it is not as essential to have them do Tummy Time. However, it is still beneficial to have baby spend some time in the Tummy Time position (also known as prone position) during play.

Five Essential Tummy Time Moves

Try these different ways to do Tummy Time with baby!

Tummy-to-Tummy or Tummy-to-Chest

  • Lie down on the floor or a bed, flat or propped up on pillows. Place baby on your chest or tummy, so you and baby are face-to-face. Always hold firmly for safety.

Tummy Down Carry or Football Hold

  • Position one hand under the tummy and between the legs and carry baby tummy down. Use other hand to supp­­ort baby’s head and neck. Nestle baby close to your body to help get baby accustomed to the position.

Lap Soothe

  • Place baby face down across your lap. A hand on baby’s bottom will help steady and calm them. This move can also be used to burp and soothe baby.

Eye-Level Smile

  • Get down to baby’s level to encourage eye contact. Baby loves to see your face!

Tummy Minute

  • Place your baby on their tummy for one or two minutes. Start a few minutes at a time and try to work up to an hour a day in shorter intervals by the end of three months. A great way to add this into baby’s daily routine is doing it for a minute or two after every diaper change.

For the rest of this article, visit: https://pathways.org/topics-of-development/tummy-time/