What is… tummy time?

Tummy time comes up a lot in my postnatal sessions, usually because mums are worried that they aren’t doing it enough because their babies don’t like it.

Here’s the thing – many babies don’t like it until they can roll on to their tummy themselves.

Why does having tummy time matter?

The concept of tummy time is to prevent babies from always lying back on something – car seat, bouncy chair, cot, pram – which could lead to a flat spot on their head and no opportunity to strengthen their neck and back muscles.

mother with newborn baby on couch tummy time

What does tummy time look like?

Realistically, tummy time just means your baby being in a position where their head isn’t leaning on anything so this can be…

  • lying on their belly on your chest or across your lap
  • being carried in a sling
  • being held on your shoulder in a winding position

While tummy time is important for your baby’s development, it can look very different to your expectations so please don’t stress if your baby doesn’t like lying on a mat or a cushion on his tummy. Carrying and cuddling so they can raise and turn their head is doing the job.

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Working with parents since 2002

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Copyright: Janine Smith