Tummy time has become an important part of babies development, especially since the “back to sleep” campaign started in order to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The reason for this is because ‘back to sleep’ has increased cases of positional plagiocephaly, which is essentially where babies develop flat spots on their heads due to being on their backs so much during infancy. Supervised tummy time can not only help with lessening the duration our littles spend on their backs to help with the proper development of their head, but it is also extremely important for strengthening their muscles and plays a big part in the development of their motor skills. Tummy time can also be a tiring exercise for infants which can ultimately help them sleep better.
Another reason I like to suggest ample amounts of supervised tummy time to clients is because when babies start to roll over, this milestone can make for some long (and vocal) nights of them being uncomfortable on their tummies, so if they get a lot of practice on their tummies during the day, they will be more comfortable while they sleep.
I know that tummy time can be a huge protest for some babies, so it is common for us to want to give up on it pretty quickly some days. And that is okay! Try to remember that even just 2-5 minute sessions can help their development. So, if it’s a tummy time protest kind of day, and you only last 2 minutes with it in the morning, try to make sure you do it a couple more times that day. Babies will start to get stronger and be able to endure longer tummy time sessions, and it will also become more enjoyable for them.
Here are a few tips for your little one to enjoy tummy time:
- Try tummy time after a nap or a diaper change.
- Avoid tummy time after eating to reduce the chance of the baby spitting up
- Get on the floor and eye-level with them to make it more engaging for them
- Put a toy within reach during tummy time.