Tummy Time: The Why’s and How’s

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Why’s and How’s of Tummy Time presented by Dr. Anne Zachry and Linda Rooke, PT

The webinar covers:

  • The importance of tummy time
  • Different tummy time positions
  • How to make tummy time fun
  • Tips for a fussy baby during tummy time and more!

Tummy Time plays a significant role in helping babies meet their developmental milestones and gives babies the chance to practice emerging gross motor, fine motor, communication, and sensory skills.

Watch this webinar to learn why tummy time so important for your baby, different way to practice it, as well as useful tips for making tummy time enjoyable for your and baby.

  • Tummy time plays an important role in helping babies meet their motor and sensory milestones.
  • Tummy time can also help to prevent conditions positional plagiocephaly (flat headedness) and torticollis (shortened neck muscle).
  • There are many different ways to practice tummy time. Some positions include:
    • Tummy to tummy-placing baby on your tummy so you’re face to face.
    • Eye level smile-Getting level with your baby to encourage eye contact
    • Lap soothe– Placing your baby across your lap.
    • Tummy down carry-Nestling the baby closely and sliding one hand under the tummy and between the legs when carrying baby tummy down.
    • Tummy minute– Placing your baby on her tummy for one or two minutes every time you change her.
  • You can practice tummy time with premature babies by using positions that keep baby close to your body.
  • Use toys, like rattles or other noisy toys to make tummy time more fun. • Siblings can also help by getting down and making funny faces or talking to baby while parent supervises.
  • You can help baby adjust to tummy time by incorporating it into your daily routine, like after a diaper change or bath.
  • Gradually increase tummy time. Every little bit counts, even if it’s just 30 or 45 seconds of tummy time at the beginning.
  • The tummy to tummy time position can be the best position for fussy babies.
  • Try to choose times when your baby is most content to practice tummy time.
  • For babies with reflux, practice tummy time in an incline position by placing a rolled up receiving blanket or Boppy pillow underneath baby’s chest to put them at a mild angle.
  • For babies with large heads, introduce tummy time gradually.
  • Babies who have G tubes or sensitive abdominal areas, use the lap soothe position to create a gap around the sensitive area.
  • It’s important to start tummy time as soon as your baby comes home from the hospital to get them used to the position and to begin strengthening their back and neck muscles and develop sensory skills.
  • Some long term advantages of tummy time include preventing upper extremity weakness, helping children develop fine motor skills and strengthening children overall.

Hosted by:
Dr. Anne Zachry has been an occupational therapist for over 20 years and has a PhD in Educational Psychology. She is currently Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Zachry is also the author of Retro Baby, Cut Back on all the Gear and Boost Your Baby’s Development with Time Tested Activities, which was endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Linda Rooke — Pathways.org Pediatric Physical Therapist