Tummy time is playtime on baby’s stomach, when the baby is awake and being supervised.
Why is tummy time important? It helps baby:
- Learn more movement
- Increase self-confidence and independence
- Learn to crawl, roll over, and walk
- Develop basic milestones, including sitting up
- Strengthen neck and stomach muscles
It also prevents babies from developing a flat head and provides a break from being on their backs.
- An infant needs to be awake and on its tummy several times a day, at least 1-2 minutes at a time. Watch baby the whole time.
- Schedule tummy time into baby’s day, like after each feeding, diaper change, or naptime.
- However, always put the baby to sleep on his back to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Start tummy time in the first week home from the hospital. A good way to start is by placing baby on parent’s chest.
- Lie on your back. Put baby’s face down on your chest and start talking. Baby will try to look up at your face.
- Lie baby on tummy on a soft mat. Place age appropriate toys just out of reach.
- Baby will learn to reach for the toys. Reaching forward and reaching to the side are both good exercises.
- Stay down on the floor with your baby. Talk or sing while baby is playing.
Increase tummy time to several minutes, several times a day.