What is ‘Tummy Time’?
Tummy Time is any time you place your baby on their tummy. Since the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) guidelines recommended that babies sleep on their backs, parents have been worried to place their babies on their tummy. However, supervised tummy time should start as soon as your baby is born. The earlier you start the better, as your baby will quickly get used to being in this position. Experts suggest they need about 20-30 minutes a day broken up into periods. Start off with a few minutes or so and gradually increase the time as your baby gets stronger.
Why is Tummy Time Important?
- Tummy time helps babies develop head control.
- It helps strengthen their back muscles
- Improves shoulder girdle stability in preparation for crawling
- Reduces the risk of delay in the development of motor skills
- Motivates them to explore their environment and learn
- Provides them with the opportunity to kick their legs and learn to roll
- Prevents flattening of their head
- Start off lying down and placing your baby on your chest to get them used to the position.
- Progress to placing them on the floor but use a rolled up towel or small cushion under their chest.
- Don’t leave your baby unattended when on their tummy.
- Make sure you time it right, so avoid this position after feeding!
- Distract your baby with toys, by interacting with them, and encouraging them to look around and reach for toys.
- Try building tummy time into a routine so your baby begins to expect it.