tummy-time

Tummy Time for Baby: When to Start and How to Do It Safely

What is Tummy Time?

Tummy time is about placing your baby on their belly while they are awake and supervised. This activity is crucial for your baby’s development, helping build strength in their neck, shoulders, and arms.

Why is Tummy Time Important?

Tummy time offers several benefits:

  • Strengthens neck, shoulder, and arm muscles
  • Prevents flat spots on the back of the head
  • Promotes motor skill development
  • Encourages crawling and other physical milestones
    Tummy Time Mirror

When to Start Tummy Time

Most pediatricians recommend starting tummy time soon after birth:

  • Full-term babies: Start as early as the first day home from the hospital.
  • Premature babies: Consult your pediatrician for personalized advice.

Frequency and Duration

  • Begin with short sessions (3-5 minutes) several times a day.
  • Gradually increase duration as your baby grows stronger.
  • Aim for about an hour of total tummy time per day by 3 months of age.

How to Do Tummy Time Safely

Preparation

  1. Choose a firm, flat surface.
  2. Remove any objects that could pose a suffocation risk.
  3. Ensure your baby is awake and alert.

Positioning

  1. Lay your baby on their belly.
  2. Place their arms tucked close to their body, hands near shoulders.
  3. Turn their head to one side.

Supervision

  • Always stay with your baby during tummy time.
  • Never leave your baby unattended.
    tummy-time-mat

Making Belly Time Fun

Encourage your baby to enjoy tummy time by:

  • Getting down on their level and making eye contact.
  • Using colorful toys to capture their attention.
  • Singing songs or talking to your baby.
  • Trying different locations in your home.

Shop Tummy Time Toys and Mats from Babycoo's collection. 

When to Seek Help

Consult your paediatrician if:

  • Your baby consistently cries or seems distressed during tummy time.
  • You notice a lack of progress in head control or arm strength.
  • You have concerns about your baby's development.

Remember, every baby develops at their own pace. Consistency and patience are key to successful tummy time.

External References

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2022). "Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play." Healthy Children
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). "Tummy time: How to help your baby get comfortable on their belly." Mayo Clinic
  3. Kuo, Y. L., Liao, H. F., Chen, P. C., Hsieh, W. S., & Hwang, A. W. (2008). The influence of wakeful prone positioning on motor development during the early life. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 29(5), 367-376