The very early days and months with baby are HARD. You’re tired and your bub will probably sleep a lot but almost definitely not at night. The midwives and healthcare visitors will encourage you to do tummy time but thats sometimes easier said than done. Read on to find out the 5 main benefits of regular tummy time sessions…
Regular tummy time sessions help baby to build strength in their head and neck muscles. Start off with very small sessions of 1-2 minutes, when baby is very young and eventually build up to longer periods.
Our activity guide on tummy-time can be found here to add variety as baby gets older.
Tummy time acts as a mini workout session for baby. Initially they are trying to use the muscles in their arms, shoulders and torso to push upwards.
Overtime, when they can push up comfortably, they will start to reach and grasp for objects, as shown above.
It is advised that baby should only be placed on their backs for sleeping in order to help prevent SIDS but tummy time (when baby is awake and alert), can help alleviate some of the pressure placed on the back of the head.
Tummy-time really helps set baby up for future movement. It is a precursor to rolling, crawling, sitting and even walking.
As baby gets stronger, you will notice them trying different movements during sessions. First they might reach out for an object that is slightly out of grasp. Over time, baby will start to push up onto their feet, before they start crawling. This type of play gives the opportunity to build up strength and try different actions.
When baby is awake and alert, tummy time gives them the opportunity to see the world from a different perspective – otherwise they are always gazing up at the ceiling!
Using books and toys during the sessions are a great way to help entertain baby.
A note on safety
Please never leave your child unattended during tummy time. Only place baby on their front when they are awake and fully alert.
If you have any concerns about your baby’s development, please contact your paedetrician.