Let’s talk about… tummy time

mother with newborn baby on couch tummy time

So, tummy time, what is it?

It is any position where your baby is not lying down on something – a young baby could easier spend most of their day lying down in a cot, car seat, bouncy chair and pram so tummy time is about encouraging positions other then lying down.

Tummy time…

  • helps your baby to use and strengthen his back, shoulder and neck muscles
  • could prevent your baby from developing a flat head or a twisted neck
  • is position where your baby is not lying down against something so this can be on your lap, on your chest or being carried around
  • is any position where your baby can lift up and move his head

With a new baby, start simple with cuddles on your chest and lap time

As your baby gets older and stronger you can introduce tummy time on the floor:

  • get on the floor with him, you can prop him on a pillow or a rolled up blanket and encourage eye contact
  • with a new and young baby, tummy time will be brief so please don’t worry about it

It’s worth remembering that many young babies don’t like lying on their tummy until they can roll there themselves and this is why tummy time can be a cause of stress – it comes up in conversations with mums all the time, concerned that they haven’t done it at all or for long enough.

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.

By focusing on carrying and cuddles, your baby will get plenty of opportunity to strengthen then neck and back and to turn their head. As your baby gets older, introduce play on the floor on both his back and his tummy so he has an opportunity to move and strengthen his muscles.

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Working with parents since 2002