How To Do Tummy Time: 4 Positions to Help
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Tummy Time is one of the best ways to enjoy time with your newborn. Try incorporating these different Tummy Time positions into your baby’s daily routines!
Tummy to Tummy (also called Tummy to Chest)
Lean back at an angle propped up by a pillow to keep baby angled slightly. Position baby’s tummy against your tummy or chest. Hold on to baby using your hands to keep baby stable. This position helps baby get used to Tummy Time. In newborns, this helps strengthen and build back and neck muscles to lift head. By 3 months, baby should be lifting their head and pushing up on forearms.
Eye Level Smile
Get down on baby’s level so you’re face to face. Position yourself in front of baby to encourage head lifting. Then move your face or a toy side to side to encourage head turning. If baby consistently prefers one side, bring this up to your healthcare provider.
Place baby across your lap. You can have both knees even, straighten one leg, or raise one leg higher. Keep the knee under baby’s chest higher if using that variation. Lifting a leg higher is easier on baby since they only need to focus on head lifting. Place a hand on baby’s bottom to help stabilize and soothe them.
Tummy Down Carry (also called Football Hold)
Carry baby tummy down with one hand between the legs and under the tummy. Your other hand supports baby’s head and shoulders. Nestle baby close to you for additional support. This is a good alternative to always carrying baby upright from room to room.
Tummy Time is crucial for baby’s development. Babies who skip Tummy Time often experience delays in crawling, walking, and even eating and talking. It’s important for even newborns to get some freedom of movement on their tummies.
Moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers cans tart to incorporate these positions into baby’s daily routines. Remember, floor time is the best time! The goal is to get baby doing Tummy Time independently on floor with supervision. Start with one to two minutes at a time, working up to an hour a day, in spurts, by 3 months of age.
Use mirrors and toys to keep baby engaged. Babies love consistency. Try linking Tummy Time to daily routines such as after a diaper change.