Tummy Time – Crucial Step in Early Child Development

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What is Tummy Time?

Tummy Time is the time during the day your baby spends on their tummy while they are awake. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends Back to Sleep, spending time on their tummy is crucial for baby’s development.

Why does my baby need Tummy Time?
Tummy Time helps your baby develop the neck, back, and shoulder muscles needed to meet infant developmental milestones. It may also help prevent early motor delays and conditions such as flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (positional torticollis). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing babies on their backs to sleep and on their tummies to play.

When should my baby start Tummy Time?
Tummy Time can begin as soon as your baby comes home from the hospital.

How much Tummy Time does my baby need?
Your baby should work up to an hour of Tummy Time per day by 3 months of age. Aim for a few minutes at a time, several times a day.

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 by rolling 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 to tummy time as part of their daily routine.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play!

Don’t get discouraged. Every bit of Tummy Time with your baby makes a difference. If you have done plenty of Tummy Time with baby, but are concerned they are not meeting their milestones, bring your concerns to baby’s pediatrician or health care provider.

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