Once you recognize the importance of tummy time, the next step is to discover how to assist your baby in practicing it. Read on to learn about the recommended tummy time positions and some helpful hints on how to make it easier and more enjoyable for your baby.
Recommended Tummy Time Positions
Tummy to Tummy (also called Tummy to Chest)
Lean back at an angle propped up by a pillow to keep your baby angled slightly. Place your baby's tummy against your stomach or chest. Hold on to the baby with your hands to keep them stable and secure. This position prepares your baby for Tummy Time which helps strengthen and build back and neck muscles so they can lift their heads. Babies should be lifting their heads and pushing up on their forearms by 3 months.
Eye Level Smile
Get down on your baby's level so you can face each other. Place yourself in front of your baby to encourage them to lift their head. Then, to encourage head turning, move your face or a toy side to one side. If your baby consistently prefers one side, you could mention this toyour healthcare professional.
Place your baby on your lap. You have the option of having both knees even, straightening one leg, or raising one leg higher - ifyou use this option, keep the knee beneath your baby's chest higher. Lifting a leg higher is easy on a newborn because they simply have to concentrate on head lifting. Place a hand on your baby’s bottom to help steady and soothe them.
Tummy Down Carry (also called Football Hold)
Hold your baby belly down, one hand between the legs and one hand under the tummy. Your other hand should be supporting your baby's head and shoulders. Keep your baby close to you for extra support. This is a better option than carrying your baby upright from room to room.
If you have a babocush however, your baby can be placed in a natural and comfortable tummy down position, just like they’re lying against your chest. Babies tend to tolerate tummy time a lot better when on the babocush. Engage with your baby while they’re on their front, this will encourage them to lift their head. It might take a little trial and error until you figure out what works best for both you and your baby, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Tummy Time is essential for your baby's growth. Babies who skip Tummy Time frequently experience delays in crawling, walking, eating, and even talking.
Moms, dads, grandparents, and carers should try to include this into your baby’s everyday routine. The ultimate goal is for your baby to have happy Tummy Time independently on the floor whilst being supervised.
Timing Tummy Time
Begin with small amounts of tummy time (2-3 minutes), bearing in mind that this is a significant effort for babies in the first few weeks. As your baby becomes stronger, gradually start to increase Tummy Time. The aim is to achieve at least an hour in total of Tummy Time per day by 3 months of age. This hour can be broken up into smaller parts. Entertain your baby with songs, conversation and fascinating toys. Tummy Time can be linked to regular rituals such as after a diaper change.
Tummy Time Tips
- Combine tummy time with things that your baby is already familiar with to make it more enjoyable for them.
- Throughout the day, place your baby on their tummy on a nice blanket. Make sure that the blanket isn’t so soft and deep that your baby sinks into it. Begin with very brief intervals, releasing your baby from the position as soon as they complain.
- As time passes, increase tummy time by putting eye-catching toys in front of your baby, toys with strong contrasting colors or lights are best. Tiny Love has a beautiful assortment of toys, like the Double-Sided First Book, that can excite your baby while they are on their tummy.
- Place a rolled-up towel under your baby's chest and help them by placing their hands on the towel. Try to incorporate tummy time into your baby's routine as much as possible, holding them in the recommended positions that exercise their neck and shoulder muscles.
- Never leave your baby alone during tummy time.
Any advice and information supplied on this website are simply suggestions and should not be construed as a professional medical diagnosis or opinion. We also encourage that you check with your healthcare practitioner, and we urge you to contact them right away if your question is urgent.