What is tummy time? It may sound silly but, tummy time is a time for babies to play on their stomachs or “tummies”. Tummy time is important for motor development as well as visual and sensory development. A major benefit to tummy time is the prevention of flat spots on the back of the baby’s head. Tummy time is a great way for strengthening a baby’s head, neck, shoulders, arms, back and torso. As babies grow their tolerance for tummy time will increase. Newborn babies may only tolerate a minute or two of tummy time but as they grow older they will tolerate it for much longer. Slowly increasing tummy time by a minute or two each day will help your baby tolerate tummy time for longer durations. As a baby grows, tummy time will help prepare them for rolling and crawling. Tummy time must always be supervised and done when the baby is wide awake.
Some fun tummy time activities include:
- Activity mats. These are found online and at every major retail store.
- Hold a toy an inch away from your baby and have them track the toy with their eyes
- Provide a non-breakable mirror for your baby to look at themselves
- Prop your baby across your lap! Tummy time doesn’t have to be just on the floor
- Offer baby books and toys for your baby to look at and reach for.
It’s important to check with your baby’s pediatrician or health care provider to get the approval before starting tummy time. Check out the following websites for more information regarding tummy time and your baby’s development!