What Are The Benefits Of Tummy Time?
Tummy time is a method used to improve your baby's head, shoulder and neck strength. This time is essential to increasing your baby's motor skills.
During this allotted time, parents are encouraged to supervise baby while on their stomach as they try to lift their head and shoulders and strengthen their arms, and back muscles.
When Should You Begin Tummy Time?
You can begin tummy time for newborns and infants 1-3 months of age.
This stage uses tummy time to build strength to begin hitting milestones such as:
- rolling over
- sitting up
During this age, it's important to remain present during tummy time because babies don't have full neck control. They can obstruct their airway if they aren't able to lift their face away from the ground.
Tummy time is also great for infants 4-7 months of age as well as tummy time is used to promote muscle strength and aids in hitting milestones such as:
- pulling up to stand
- cruising (walking assisted or while holding onto furniture)
- improving arm control
- preparing for baby-led feeding.
How often should you complete tummy time daily?
It is recommended that newborn babies and infants 1-3 months old complete tummy time 4-5 times a day.
This frequency is determined by their short wake windows and generally only being able to complete the activity for 1-2 minutes at a time.
For older babies 4-7 months of age, tummy time duration can lengthen to 10-20 minutes per session and be completed 1-3 times daily.
What Are Tips for Successful Tummy Time?
Here are a few things to try out to have a successful tummy time experience:
- Keep elbows tucked the body, parallel to baby's shoulders for more stability.
- Use a boppy, support pillow, or folded blankets to prop baby's chest for more support.
- Lie baby on smooth surface or tummy time mat for comfort.
- Set up TV or laptop screen in front of tummy mat station to keep their attention and head upward.
- Use this time for baby affirmations or to read them a book for additional speech/cognitive development.