Article by: Kylie Hinton, OTR
Tummy time is a period of time in which your baby plays while one their belly. This is crucial to development and important to incorporate into your child’s routine, here’s why.
What is tummy time?
Why is tummy time so important?
Why does my baby cry during tummy time?
Fun Activities and Tips
- Position baby on tummy for supervised play time
- Keep fun and interactive
- Do not push baby to continue if screaming and crying, try again later and work on making environment calming
- Try different positioning techniques
- Start with infant placed on your chest or across your legs
- Once baby gains better head control place on blanket on floor, roll up a thin towel or blanket under armpits/arms to make a bolster that will provide extra support, make sure babies arms are over bolster with it against chest and chin positioned in front with encouragement of holding head up
- Use a boppy pillow for a slight incline
- Can use an exercise ball, position baby with chest/belly on ball and hold on to baby while encouraging lifting head and pushing up on arms
Activities to Try
- Increase your baby’s ability to reach and play, hold a toy within reach or place toys to explore around baby
- Engage the senses with bright toys, tactile toys (textured toys), musical toys
- Engage child with singing, music, and encouragement
- Use a mirror in front of your baby
- Lighted and musical toys are great for gaining baby’s attention (hold in front and to the side, and up in air to encourage developing head control and pushing up on arms)
- Best to not place baby on belly right after eating or while sleepy
- 1 month-baby should be turning head during tummy time and attempting to lift head
- 2-3 months– controlling head better, moving head side to side, starting to visually track toys by following with eyes and head, tolerating more time, tolerating tummy time on floor, and starting to put weight on elbows
- 4-5 months-pushing up on forearms and bringing chest off floor, lifting head to track toys and noises in room, starting to push up on hands with straight arms, tolerating 30 mins to hour of tummy time
- 6-8 plus months-reach up high for toys with one arm, rolling, starting to creep or crawl, refusing tummy time due to wanting to move around more
Try our Free Online Screening Tool
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