By Raising Children Network
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Why tummy time is important

Tummy time should make up lots of baby’s floor play; start soon after birth; put her on her back to sleep and tummy to play.
  • Tummy time happens when your baby lies on his tummy with weight on his forearms. Tummy time builds head, neck and upper body strength for when baby is older. Your baby should do it a lot each day.

  • Start tummy time soon after birth, as part of baby’s daily play. In the first few weeks, try tummy time for 1-2 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Your baby can build up to 10-15 minutes, several times a day.

  • Back to sleep, tummy to play. While asleep, baby spends a lot of time on his back with his head in one position. This can cause flat spots on the back of his head. Tummy time helps prevent this. 


How to do tummy time

Place toys near your baby; lie down and show her a picture book;  place a mirror so he can see his reflection.
  • Place safe objects and toys close to your baby. Move them from side to side in front of her face. This encourages her to move, lift and turn her head.
  • Get down on the floor next to your baby. Turn pages in picture books or magazines. This develops baby’s eye strength and keeps her interested.

  • Put a non-breakable mirror next to your baby so she can see her reflection. Try tummy time in different places, like outdoors on a blanket.


Keeping tummy time interesting and fun

Sing, stroke her back or tickle her hands; try other tummy time locations, like your lap; supervise your baby during tummy time.
  • Let your baby know you’re there by talking and singing, stroking his back or tickling his hands.

  • If your baby doesn’t like tummy time on the floor, try tummy time on a rolled-up towel, your lap or large ball. 

  • Supervise baby during tummy time. As he gets stronger and starts moving more, clear away dangerous things.


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  • Last updated or reviewed 18-12-2017