What is Tummy Time?
It is the time when baby lies on stomach while they are awake.
What are the benefits of tummy time?
Lying on his front helps your baby to strengthen his back and shoulders, as well as giving him a chance to move his arms and legs in a different way. This will develop his gross motor skills, which will help him to roll over. As he gets older, he will start trying to push up from the tummy position and straighten his arms. This is the precursor to crawling, and it will strengthen the muscles he needs to get moving.
Tummy time will also strengthen your baby’s neck, which will give him greater head control. This means that your baby will be able to look up and around him. Being able to see things around him will develop your baby’s coordination and his ability to follow things with his eyes.
It may also help prevent early motor delays and conditions such as flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (positional torticollis).
When can I start giving my baby tummy time?
Your baby can start having a small amount of tummy time soon after his birth
How much Tummy Time does my baby need?
Start by giving your baby just a couple of minutes of tummy time. Do this two or three times a day, and gradually build up the amount of time your baby lies on his front.
Always supervise your baby’s tummy time, and never put your baby onto his tummy while he is asleep. Sleeping on his tummy may increase your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (cot death).
What are different Tummy Time positions to try with my baby?
There are 5 simple positions to do Tummy Time with your 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 that you’re 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. Nestle baby close to your body to help get baby accustomed to the position.
- Lap Soothe
Place baby face-down across your lap to burp or soothe them. A hand on baby’s bottom will help steady and calm them.
- Eye Level Smile
Bend down so you are level with baby. Offer additional support byrolling up a blanket under baby’s chest and shoulders.
- Tummy Minute
Place baby on their tummy after routine activities such as diapering or bathing. Baby will begin to get used totummy time as part of their daily routine.