Baby
30th Oct 2020

Did you know that from their early weeks of life, your little one starts to develop the foundation skills they need to crawl, walk and eventually run?

Affectionately known as tummy time, this developmental stage is an important milestone for your bub.

But, why is tummy time so important, when should it commence, when should it be phased out, and how can you make the most of this unique window of development?

Why Is Tummy Time Important? 1

You’re probably familiar with the importance of your little one assuming the safe sleeping position: flat on their back. So, to ensure your little one spends adequate time on their front, supervised tummy time during waking hours can help experience a range of different positions.

This helps support your baby’s development in a number of ways, including:

  • Developing upper body strength
  • Teaching them to support their neck and head
  • Strengthening the muscles used for crawling, rolling over, sitting up or standing.

When Should Your Baby Start Tummy Time? 1-2

As part of your bub’s daily routine, the general advice is that tummy time begins in the first few weeks after birth. But this doesn’t have to equate to hours spent on their front. In fact, you may like to begin with as little as one or two minutes each day.

Over time, you can gradually build up to 15-20 minute sessions, multiple times each day with your little one lying across your lap on their tummy. As they grow older and stronger, you may like to move them to a rug on the floor.

General guidance suggests that by the time they are three months old, they should spend roughly an hour on their front each day.  However, it’s important to remember that every child is different. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, talk to their paediatrician.

When Should You Phase Out Tummy Time?2

Once your little one begins crawling, reap the rewards of tummy time while on the move.

Generally, this may be around the 7-9 month mark and means that tummy time is no longer as necessary as it was in the earlier months of your baby’s life.

However, it can still be beneficial to have them spend some time in the tummy time position while playing.

Tips For Tummy Time 1

When your bub begins tummy time, you may feel unsure of how to make the most of their period spent on their front. To make it more fun, the following tips may be of use.

  • Lie alongside your baby and talk to them or read a book
  • Hold a handmirror next to them so they can see themselves
  • Vary the location from time to time, including outdoors on a rug or mat in the shade on a warm sunny day
  • Stroke your little one’s head or back to comfort them and build your bond
  • Place a range of safe toys nearby while moving them from side to side to encourage them to move their head and focus their eyes

With these tips in mind, tummy time can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for parent and bub alike. Not only are you laying the groundwork for development milestones to come (think crawling, standing and walking) but it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together.

If you have any concerns about your little one’s development, make an appointment with your friendly paediatrician.

Have you found this information useful? If so you may enjoy the following:

How To Put Your Baby To Sleep Safely

How To Build Bonds And Support Sleep With Baby Massage

References:

  1. pregnancybirthbaby.org.au. (n.d.). {{meta.og.title}}. [online] Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/tummy-time [Accessed 14 Oct. 2020]
  2. org. (2019). Importance of Tummy Time | When to Start and How To Do It | Pathways. [online] Available at: https://pathways.org/topics-of-development/tummy-time/.

 

Related Articles

Articles and Advice
Baby
27th Nov 2020
8 min read
Articles and Advice
Baby, Toddler
27th Nov 2020
8 min read