The Importance of Tummy Time for Your Baby's Development

What is Tummy Time

Tummy time is an essential activity for babies that involves placing them on their stomachs to help with their physical and mental development. This exercise helps babies engage certain muscles that may not be used when they are lying on their backs. By spending time on their stomachs, babies can develop important skills like holding their head up without support. Tummy time is a great way to ensure that babies get the necessary stimulation they need while awake.

How does Tummy Time benefit my baby, and why should I do it?

Tummy Time is a crucial activity for infants as it helps develop the motor skills necessary for sitting, rolling, and crawling. Additionally, it can prevent head flattening by relieving pressure from the back of the head. During Tummy Time, the muscles responsible for lifting the head are engaged, which can also help shape the lower part of the skull. Encouraging Tummy Time can have long-lasting benefits for your baby's physical development. A baby is placed flat on their stomach during Tummy Time, which teaches them to take their weight through their arms, push up, and move from side to side while developing their motor skills. It provides a good platform for babies to learn to move and explore their surroundings as they grow stronger. Tummy Time is a crucial activity for newborns as it aids in their cognitive development and enhances their thinking and reasoning abilities. By placing the baby on their stomach, they are able to interact with their surroundings in a different way than when they are lying on their back. This allows them to manipulate toys and explore their environment, providing them with a unique perspective of the world around them.

How soon can my baby start doing tummy time?

Tummy time can be started from birth, but activities should depend on the baby's age and temperament. For newborns, activities should focus on calming and carrying.

Is it safe for my premature baby to do tummy time?

The short answer is yes. Make sure they are comfortable, and if they become irritated then stop. In the early days, it's best to hold your baby close to your chest while lying back or crossing your legs. Alternatively, you could carry your baby face down using the 'tummy down' or 'football hold' by placing one hand under his/her tummy and between his/her legs. You can even carry your child face down on the floor on a tummy time mat or blanket if they are calm and settled. 

What is the best time to do Tummy Time exercises?

When your baby is happy, alert and awake, you should try Tummy Time. It is important to place your baby on their tummy after routine activities such as changing nappy or bathing. Baby will begin to get used to Tummy Time as a part of their daily routine... Also, parents should get down on the floor at baby's eye level. Always supervise the baby during Tummy Time and never allow him or her to fall asleep on their tummy.

What is the recommended frequency of tummy time for my baby?

The majority of sources suggest that parents give their babies about 30 minutes of tummy time per day, using a variety of activities. This can be done in a single episode or in numerous shorter periods throughout the day, increasing to 90 minutes as the baby grows.

My child is doing tummy time, how can I tell how he or she is doing?

Monitoring your baby's ability to move their head is a key indicator of whether or not they are developing as they should. On their tummies, they should be able to lift or hold their head, neck, and chest upward by 4 months. At 6 months, a baby should be able to roll onto their tummy and grasp an object. It is recommended that babies can sit independently by 9 months of age, with good balance, and move into crawling positions. They should have the ability to reach for toys and transfer them from hand to hand. By 12 months, babies should be sitting up on their own at furniture, cruising, walking with both hands held, and using a 'pincer grip' to pick up objects.

In the event that my baby does not like tummy time, what should I do?

If your baby doesn't like being laid on the floor, give them Tummy Time in your arms. You can gradually introduce your baby to time on the floor once they are used to being held that way. The best approach is to do it little and often – for example, 10 Tummy Time sessions of six minutes each throughout the day.

Tummy Time exercises: when do you stop doing them?

The length of time depends on how well your baby handles it. Once your baby learns how to roll over – or becomes more confident and independent in playing on their front as their motor skills have developed – you can reduce the amount of time you devote to Tummy Time exercises, as they will continue naturally.

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