Why Tummy Time is Important
Tummy time is placing a baby on his or her front while awake. It’s really helpful for babies as it helps strengthen their head, neck and shoulder muscles, promoting motor skills at an early age. It can also prevent the back of their skull from becoming flat.
What happens if you don’t do tummy time?
Babies who practice tummy time often can crawl on their stomachs earlier than babies who don’t, according to the Mayo Clinic. They also might be able to roll over, crawl on all fours and sit without support at an earlier age.
How long do you do tummy time?
You’ll want to ease your baby into doing this. After all, it might not be very comfortable for them in the beginning.
So, to start, try practicing tummy time for 1-2 minutes at a time, then working your way towards 5-10 minutes (according to Parent Magazine). Try to do this 2-3 times per day at first, maybe for a few months, then moving up to 8-10 times per day.
Research suggests your baby should receive 20 minutes of tummy time per day by the time he or she is 3 to 4 months old.
Why do some babies cry during tummy time?
Some parents have a hard time getting their newborns to do this. We often hear them say how their baby cries, or doesn’t enjoy being on their stomachs. We totally get it, too! Since those muscles are so undeveloped—especially for a newborn—it can be really uncomfortable for them to be on their stomachs and unable to lift their head for more than a few seconds.
So, we wanted to list a few ways to make it more enjoyable for your baby.
Tips to make tummy time more comfortable for your baby
- Start by placing your baby on your chest, lap or tummy. We hope your baby will enjoy it more if he or she is closer to you. Once that’s doable, you can move your baby to a blanket on the floor
- Make it easier to lift and turn his or her head by putting a rolled towel under the arms or shoulders
- Place some of his or her favorite toys, or even new toys, around your baby
- Take part in tummy time yourself – place yourself in front of your baby so he or she can look up and see a loving parent right in front, knowing you’re close by
In that, and the most important thing for you to remember, is to NEVER leave your baby unattended during tummy time. If he or she gets cranky or sleepy, change the activity or consider putting them back in the crib to take a nap.
Do you have any more questions, or some tips to offer? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email us at [email protected].