Tummy Time is the time during the day your baby spends on their tummy while they are awake. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends Back to Sleep, spending time on their tummy while awake is crucial for your baby’s development.
Your baby can begin tummy time from the very day he/she comes home from the hospital and should work up to an hour a day by 3 months of age, but what exactly is the purpose of tummy time and why should you even care?
Tummy time helps with motor, sensory and vision development in babies.
It helps to develop eye and hand coordination in newborns. By looking down at their hands, baby is seeing how they move and what they can do. You can do things like lie down on the floor or a bed, flat or propped up on pillows and place baby on your chest or tummy, so that you’re face-to-face. Sing or talk to baby and encourage eye contact with you. Allow baby to lift head and attempt to focus on your face.
Strengthens baby’s back, neck, and core muscles and helps build a foundation needed for baby to meet motor milestones including rolling, sitting, crawling, and more. You can lay baby on a blanket with some brightly colored toys in front of him/her. Allow babu to lift head and push up on elbows to focus on toys. Be sure to work up in small increments of time so baby doesn't get frustrated or upset.
Feeling different textures (blankets, carpet, etc.) on their arms, hands, and cheeks can help baby’s tactile sense (sense of touch). As baby moves and their weight shifts they gain a sense of body awareness and by positioning baby differently it helps develop their movement and balance or vestibular sense. When planning tummy time try to use different materials and surfaces to help with sensory development.
Make sure all caregivers know Tummy Time is a normal part of baby’s daily routine. Do a couple minutes of Tummy Time after every diaper change or after every bath so baby starts to expect it. Try doing Tummy Time when baby is most happy and avoid Tummy Time immediately after feeding. Use time on the floor to play as an alternative to baby being in a carrier or bouncy seat.
Make Tummy Time fun time!
Sing songs during Tummy Time to calm and soothe baby. Use rattles, toys, and mirrors to encourage visual tracking and get down on the floor at baby’s eye level. Remember, Baby loves your face!
If you would like to get involved with other moms for shared tummy time, we offer tummy time classes every Wednesday morning, FREE of charge from 10am-10:30 and from 10:30am-11. Moms can come anytime and stay for both classes or part of class. It's your time to do it your way and we would love to get to know you more. Call us today at 936-327-2410 to get on our tummy time class list.