Babies today get far less tummy time than babies of past generations because of the risk of SIDS associated with a baby who sleeps on their front. Therefore, following the 1990’s Back to Sleep campaign, babies now spend more time on their backs.
Tummy time is very important for babies to develop muscle strength as well as pave the way for future skills development.
It is important that parents supervise tummy time for about 15-20 mins a day while baby is alert and awake. This time will increase as baby gets older and his stamina and muscles develop.
It is best to pick a time when baby is content, having been fed and napped enough.
When your baby is a newborn he won’t be able to lift his head up but over time this skill will develop.
Not only does tummy time increase the muscle strength, it also reduces the risk of baby developing flat spot on the back of his head.
If you’re baby doesn’t like tummy time and it is a struggle, try to do spurts of 5-10 mins a few times a day.
You can also lie on your back and put baby on his front on top of you, carry him facing forward and to the side, resting on your arm or rest him face down on your lap. All of these strategies should help ease into tummy time on the floor.
To make tummy time easier for your baby, you could try putting a rolled towel or a curved pillow under his belly to prop him up slightly.
Place a mirror in front of him so he can see himself. Activity mats can also be good for tummy time to keep baby occupied.
Roll and massage baby as he is on his front, this will get him used to the sensation.
Use rattles or toys that make sounds to engage baby’s attention.