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?
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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. Use other hand to support baby’s head and neck. Nestle baby close to your body to help get baby accustomed to the position.
Place baby face down across your lap to burp or soothe them. A hand on baby’s bottom will help steady and calm them
Get down level with your baby to encourage eye contact. Roll up and place a blanket under the chest and upper arms for added support.
Place your baby on their tummy for one or two minutes after every diaper change. Start a few minutes at a time and try to work up to an hour a day in shorter intervals by the end of three months.
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 healthcare provider.
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