In a national survey of 400 pediatric physical and occupational therapists, two-thirds of those surveyed say they’ve seen an increase in early motor delays in infants who spend too much time on their back while awake. Tummy time is an important and essential activity for infants to develop the strength and musculature they need to achieve their milestones in gross motor development.
What is tummy time?
- Supervised time during the day that your baby spends on their tummy while they are awake
Why does my baby need tummy time?
- Being on his or her tummy will help develop the muscles of the shoulder, neck, trunk, and back. This, in turn, will allow your child to achieve developmental milestones such as independent sitting, crawling, and standing
- Tummy time will help prevent conditions such as torticollis and plagiocephaly (head flattening on portions of their head)
What if my baby doesn’t like tummy time?
- The sooner you start tummy time, the sooner your child will get used to it!
- If your child cannot keep their head up, use a towel roll, Boppy pillow, or small pillows to help prop them up until they can lift their head on their own
- Place a mirror or their favorite toys in front of them to keep them entertained
- Put them on your lap on their tummy
How much time do they need on their tummy?
- You can start putting them on their tummy from day one for up to 5 minutes, 3-5 times a day. As they get stronger, they will be able to tolerate increased tummy time during the day.
- But, always remember – back to sleep and tummy to play!
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Deerfield, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, and Des Plaines! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!