Your baby’s pediatrician has likely recommended daily tummy time, but do you know why this simple activity is so valuable for healthy development? Keep reading to find out what tummy time is, why it is important, and how to do it safely.

What Is Tummy Time?

Tummy time is as simple as it sounds—it’s time that your baby spends lying on their belly instead of lying on their back. Most babies don’t learn how to roll over onto their bellies until they’re about 4 to 6 months old, which is why it’s up to parents to implement tummy time. Lying your baby on their belly for a few minutes every day can help them build the strength they need to reach their developmental milestones. And before you know it, they’ll be rolling over all on their own!

Why Is Tummy Time Important?

There are several key reasons why tummy time is important for your baby’s development:

  • It prevents a flat head. When babies lie on their backs all the time, the pressure on their skull can lead to plagiocephaly, or a flat spot on their head. While this isn’t necessarily a serious condition, it can give your baby’s head an odd shape. Daily tummy time prevents this by taking the pressure off your baby’s head—and even a few minutes a day is enough.
  • It builds their motor skills. Tummy time is a simple exercise that can strengthen your baby’s stomach, neck, back, and arm muscles. This is because your baby will try to lift their head to see what’s going on around them. By strengthening these muscles, your baby will have an easier time achieving milestones like rolling over.
  • It’s fun! Not only is tummy time fun for your baby because they get to see new things and move their bodies, but it’s fun for you, too. This simple activity is great for bonding with your baby; and when they manage to lift their head up more and look around, it’s an exciting (and often adorable) parenting milestone.

How to Implement Tummy Time Safely

There are a few tips you should know to ensure your baby has safe and enjoyable tummy time:

  • Only do tummy time when your baby is awake as babies should always sleep on their backs.
  • Make sure you or another responsible person is always watching your baby during tummy time.
  • Start with 3-5 minutes of tummy time a couple times per day and increase this time as your baby gets older.
  • Newborns can lie on their belly across your lap, chest, or stomach.
  • For older babies, place a play mat or blanket on the floor and lie them on it.
  • Try putting colorful toys nearby for your baby to look at to encourage them to lift their head

Schedule Your Child’s Evaluation

Pediatric Therapy Partners has clinics in Bossier and Shreveport, LA, to meet your family’s needs. All you have to do is call us at (318) 746-1199 or fill out the contact form below and our Intake Coordinator will help you schedule your child’s speech therapy evaluation.

Contact Us Form
I confirm that I want to receive content from this company using any contact information I provide.