What is Baby Tummy Time? and is it 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.

Know the Basics of Tummy Time

Why does babies need Tummy Time?

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

When should baby start Tummy Time?

Baby start Tummy Time As a newborn as soon as they come home from the hospital.

What is Tummy Time
Tummy Time Chart

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.

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 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.

How Tummy Time Helps Baby’s Development

Tummy Time helps baby’s motor and sensory development

Tummy Time is crucial for healthy motor, sensory and visual development:

Motor

  • Strengthens baby’s back, neck, shoulders, and core muscles.
  • Build a foundation for baby to meet motor milestones including rolling, sitting, crawling, and more.

Sensory

  • Feeling different textures (blankets, carpet, etc.) on their arms, hands, and cheeks can help baby’s sense of touch (tactile sense).
  • As baby moves and their weight shifts, they gain a sense of body awareness (proprioception).
  • Positioning baby differently helps develop their movement and balance (vestibular sense).

Vision

  • Helps develop hand-eye coordination. By looking down at their hands, baby is seeing how they move and what they can do.

Tummy Time Tips for Success

If baby isn’t enjoying Tummy Time, try some of these ideas! If baby has different people caring for them…
Make sure all caregivers know Tummy Time is a normal part of baby’s daily routine

If baby resists Tummy Time…

Do a couple minutes of Tummy Time after every diaper change or after every bath so baby starts to expect it. Avoid Tummy Time immediately after feeding

If baby cries during Tummy Time…

Try doing Tummy Time exercises when baby is most happy

Make Tummy Time fun time

Sing songs during Tummy Time to calm and soothe baby
Use rattles, toys, and mirrors to encourage visual tracking
Get down on the floor at baby’s eye level. Baby loves your face!

If baby falls asleep during Tummy Time…
Place them on their back—do not let them sleep on their tummy

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