Tummy time is one of baby's first and most important exercises. When you place your baby on their stomach to play, they can start to develop motor skills that will help them crawl eventually. But when should you start?
You can start tummy time as soon as you bring your baby home from the hospital. Just make sure they're awake and that you are nearby so that you can keep a close eye on them.
How long should my baby do tummy time?
You can start doing tummy time 2-5 minutes about 2-3 times a day. Observe how your baby responds. If they look happy, gradually increase the duration of tummy time. If they look uncomfortable, try to first cuddle them in an upright position and then lay them down on their tummy.
See if you can do tummy time for at least an hour throughout the day, broken down in several sessions, till your baby is 3 months old.
It may take longer for some babies to get used to tummy time. Don't worry if your baby doesn't like it at first. You may be able to shorten tummy time sessions until they get used to it.
How to do tummy time
Easing them into it
To get your baby ready for tummy time, you can try a few different positions to let them play and wriggle around:
- Lie down on your back and place your baby on your chest while making a lot of eye contact so they stay engaged with you.
- Another method is to put them on your lap and make sure they do not squirm away.
When you start tummy time on the floor, you can begin by using a rolled-up towel under their chest and armpits so they can lift their head more easily.
Once they're 4 months old, you may remove the towel support. This position helps them reach for toys and play while on their tummy.
As your baby turns 6 months old, you can try the superman position by lifting them in your arms and making them stretch like superman On the floor, they'll likely be rolling from front to back and then back to front.
Why is tummy time so important?
Tummy time provides plenty of opportunities for your baby to develop motor skills as they try to wriggle and roll over by themselves. It's crucial for your baby's physical development because the exercise helps them strengthen muscles in their back, arms and neck.
When your baby lies down on their back in the same position too much, their skull bones can move and start creating flattening of the head (positional plagiocephaly). Experiencing a different position with tummy time helps keep this condition at bay.
How can I make tummy time fun?
- Place a blanket on the floor for your baby to lie down on during tummy time.
- Incorporate short tummy sessions in between routine activities (after a diaper change or after your baby wakes from a nap).
- Spread out some toys around your baby so that they try to reach them.
- Play music, sing songs, mimic your baby's expressions and try to talk with them to make tummy time more interesting and interactive for your baby.
United States. National Institutes of Health. "Babies need tummy time." <https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/safesleepbasics/tummytime>.
Top When Should We Start Tummy Time With Baby? Related Articles
Babies QuizTake the Babies Quiz to learn what milestones and developments you can expect from your baby’s first year.
Baby's 1st Yr SlideshowWhat developmental milestones can you expect to see during baby's first year? Find out when babies learn to smile, laugh, crawl, and talk.
Breastfeeding (and Formula Feeding)It's important to know whether you will breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby prior to delivery, as the breasts' ability to produce milk diminishes soon after childbirth without the stimulation of breastfeeding. Breast milk is easily digested by babies and contains infection-fighting antibodies and cholesterol, which promotes brain growth. Formula-fed babies actually need to eat somewhat less often since formula is less readily digested by the baby than human milk. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of feeding.
How Do I Know if My Baby Is Developing Normally?The development of your child begins right after birth. What are the signs that your child is developing normally? Learn how to spot when something is wrong.
How Do I Know if Something Is Wrong With My Baby?Here are 15 warning signs that may indicate something is wrong with your baby and that they need medical attention.
How Long Can a Newborn Go Without Peeing?A newborn baby usually passes urine for the first time within 12-24 hours after birth. Not peeing in the first 24 hours points to some urinary tract problem. Here are signs to look for and when to call a doctor.
New Parents MistakesParenting a child isn't easy. Explore the top 10 mistakes that new parents make. Discover newborn parenting tips for breastfeeding, learn to deal with crying babies, child's fevers, and more.
ParentingGood parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness, says Steinberg, a distinguished professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. It also promotes intellectual curiosity, motivation, and desire to achieve. It helps protect children from developing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, antisocial behavior, and alcohol and drug abuse.
Crying & Colic SlideshowLearn top parenting tricks for calming crying, colicky, and fussy newborns and babies.
Parenting Guide: Healthy Principles That WorkGood parenthood isn't magical. It takes learning, dedication, and hard work. Learn how to set rules, offer love, and discipline children appropriately and set yourself on the track to becoming a better parent.
What Age Can a Baby Go in a Bouncer?A baby can go in a baby bouncer at around the age of 3-6 months.
What Age Can a Baby Use a Jumperoo?Jumpers or jumperoos are the combination of swing and spinning of the baby seat. It may be additionally equipped with some toys, music, and some other entertainment for the baby. It keeps the baby high from the ground and allows them to bounce. Now the baby who uses a jumperoo will obviously spend less time crawling.
What Does a 2-Month-Old Baby Do?After 2 months of age, your baby moves past the newborn stage and they experience many changes. A 2-month-old baby experiences advances in motor skills, eating, sleeping, communication, and in their senses.
When Can I Make a Baby Sit?Most babies can sit at about 9 months and may be able to get in and out of a sitting posture with a little support. Learn about child development milestones.
When Should I Start Cleaning My Baby’s Mouth?Maintaining infant oral hygiene is very important because it maintains oral health, clears milk and food residues and avoids the buildup of bacteria. It helps the baby have healthy gums and teeth. It is recommended to begin cleaning the baby's mouth as a newborn, even before the teeth appear. Teeth brushing may begin after the teeth start appearing.