How to Talk to Parents About Tummy Time
Why Is Tummy Time Important?
Since the adoption of the “Back to Sleep” Campaign, the incidence of SIDS has decreased by 40%. Because of this, it is essential that babies be placed on their backs to sleep. However, this means that babies miss out on several hours of prone time they used to get each day. This lack of Tummy Time may contribute to early motor delays, plagiocephaly, and other issues. An early motor delay occurs when a child isn’t able to meet critical physical milestones in the first months and years of life, which can later affect a child’s ability to learn basic skills such as chewing, grasping, crawling, standing and walking.
How Can I Help Parents Implement Tummy Time?
Tummy Time instruction is most effective when pediatricians keep in mind the following:
Give parents simple guidelines for Tummy Time.
Tummy Time should begin soon after birth. Parents are encouraged to begin with a few minutes and work up to an hour total per day—in shorter intervals—by three months of age.
Help parents incorporate tummy time into a child’s normal, daily routine.
When Tummy Time is a part of baby’s routine, they are more likely to enjoy it and parents are less likely to forget about Tummy Time.
Good suggestions for parents include:
- Place baby on his stomach for a few minutes after each diaper change
- Soothe a fussy baby by laying her across your lap rather than propping her up on your shoulder
- Carry baby from room-to-room using a “tummy down” carry, making sure to snuggle baby close to your body for security.
Make tummy time fun for both babies and parents.
Tummy time can be more enjoyable when parents:
- Get down onto baby’s level, using a toy to engage him
- Place baby with her tummy against their tummy or chest, so that they can make eye contact and facilitate bonding
- Use a mirror to keep baby interested and happy during tummy time—babies love faces!
Encourage parents to observe their baby for signs of an early motor delay.
Parents know their children best, and should be encouraged to monitor their baby and share their observations with their pediatricians. Pediatricians should be careful not to overly alarm parents, but parents should feel free to bring up any areas of concern they may have in a constructive and supportive environment. The prone position is an ideal position for observing a child’s movement.
Parents should speak with pediatricians if they notice signs such as:
Consistent preference for one side (in head turning, reaching for toys, etc.) Inability to lift head and push up on forearms by three months of age
Are There Other Resources I Can Provide For Parents?
5 Essential Tummy Time moves
5 Essential Tummy Time moves in Spanish
Pathways.org Five essential Tummy Time Moves
Tummy Time helps babies develop the muscles in their back, neck and trunk, on their way to meeting all their infant development milestones. This video highlights the top five moves you can begin as soon as your baby is born. Visit www.Pathways.org for more on tummy time and infant development.
Confiado Para Asegurar el Mejor de Todos los Bebes