Tummy Time, The Importance For Your Baby
Tummy Time! During supervised awake hours, it is important for your baby to experience a lot of tummy time. Positioning your child on his/her tummy helps your baby to develop neck, shoulder, arm, and trunk strength. Strengthening will help your baby to reach developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting and crawling. Tummy time during awake hours promotes a round head shape. As babies spend more time on their tummy and get used to the position, they generally tolerate it better.
In 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended to always place your baby on his/her back to sleep, to reduce the risk of SIDS. When putting baby to sleep, place head at one end of the crib one night and at other end of the crib on the next night to encourage baby to turn his/her head both ways.
Lack of Tolerance to Tummy Time
Your baby may not like tummy time due to lack of exposure or discomfort in this position. This lack of tummy time may delay their development of motor milestones. This results in a lack of strength making it difficult for your baby to lift his/her head and feel comfortable in this position.
How to Promote Tummy Time
When awake, place your baby on his/her tummy frequently for 1-2 minute periods of time to start. The goal is to increase tummy time to at least 10 minutes 4-5 times per day. A small rolled towel placed under your baby’s chest, at armpit level, makes it easier for the him/her to lift their head. Have baby lay on your chest while you recline to promote tummy time and is a great bonding experience.
It is important to remember that back sleeping is best, but when your baby is awake, he/she needs FREQUENT, supervised Tummy Time to promote timely achievement of motor skills