How To Do Tummy Time Newborn

Establish Safe Sleeping Habits Before Starting Tummy Time


Routinely putting a baby to sleep on the stomach raises her risk of SIDS about four times. But SIDS risk jumps even higher when young babies are put to sleep on the backbut accidentally roll to the stomach.

Of course, sooner or later, your baby will roll onto her stomach during sleep. So what should you do to protect her?

For at least the first 4 months, always put your baby to sleep on the back snugly swaddled with white noise playing nearby. The sound will keep her calmer , and the swaddling will make it harder for her to flip over.

When To Start Tummy Time

While theres no prescription for exactly when to start tummy time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents get going on it early. In fact, babies born at full term with no health issues can start tummy time as soon as their first day home from the hospitalso long as you and your newborn are both awake and alert and you or another caregiver are there to supervise.

Dont be surprised if baby hates tummy time and those initial attempts are met with some resistance. Babies usually dont like it and get cranky about it, says Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health pediatrician Michael McKenna, M.D. The first time, they might only be down there for a minute before they start screaming. Its about getting them used to being in that position. Youll probably have to start with short sessions and work your way up.

Why Is Tummy Time Important

Tummy time has plenty of benefits for your baby:

  • Its important for their physical development, helping your baby to strengthen their back, arms and neck muscles.
  • Tummy time helps your baby to develop their motor skills and encourages them to roll over.
  • Tummy time varies the position your baby lies in, which can also help prevent head flattening .

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Your Guide To Tummy Time

Since the American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending that babies be put “back to sleep” more than a decade ago, the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome has dropped drastically. But back-sleeping has led to more infants developing flat spots on the back of their skull, a condition called positional plagiocephaly. What’s more, always lying belly-up can delay motor development because a baby gets less of a chance to work the muscles in his upper body. Lack of tummy time can not only affect how long it takes for your little one to master such basic skills as lifting his head and turning over, it may also have an impact on physical milestones like sitting, crawling, and walking.

Help My Baby Hates Tummy Time

Tummy Time  Safe Sleep Academy

Some tots seem to love playing on their tummies. Others might act like they cant stand it. Keep trying! There are many things you can do to help your baby get comfortable and even have fun in this position.

1. Go slow. Some infants will only tolerate a few minutes of tummy time in the beginning. That’s perfectly normal.

2. Move to his level. “Tummy time can initially be scary because it’s new,” Wallace says. “Getting down on the ground and doing face-to-face encouragement will reassure a baby that he can do it and it’s OK.”

3. Use plastic mirrors. Your baby will probably lift their head to admire their reflection.

4. Put the baby on your tummy or chest. Newborns love to lay on a parent and gaze up at their face, Wallace says.

5. Involve a sibling. If you have an older child, encourage them to get down on the floor and play with their little brother or sister .

6. Work it into other activities. Put your baby on their tummy while you dry them after a bath, smooth on lotion, or burp them .

7. Sing or tell a story. They’ll raise their head and move around when they hear your voice. Remember to make eye contact, too.

8. Offer extra support. Make a bolster out of a thin towel or blanket. Roll it up, put it under your baby’s chest, and stretch their arms forward and over the roll. Be careful to keep their chin, mouth, and nose away from the bolster.

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When Should I Start Tummy Time

Tummy time should start soon after birth as part of a pleasurable daily routine. You might begin with 1 to 2 minutes a few times a day.

Over time, you can gradually build up to 10-15 minutes, several times a day. You might start by laying your baby across your lap on their tummy. As your baby grows stronger, you can put them on a rug on the floor to play.

Keep An Eye On How Its Going

If your baby becomes sleepy during tummy time, put them on their back to sleep in their crib. As your baby gains more control of their head and arms, give them a ball to play with, rolling it back and forth from you to them. As they start to move around more, clear away any objects that might be dangerous, and introduce new toys and games.

An adult should always be there during tummy time to make sure the baby is safe.

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What Are The Benefits Of Tummy Time And Why Is It So Important

Spending awake time belly-down offers lots of benefits for your little one. Tummy time:

  • Helps prevent flat spots from forming on the back of babys head.
  • Allows your baby to work different muscles than those hed use on his back. By practicing his push-ups, your baby will develop the muscles in his arms, shoulders, upper back and neck that will eventually enable him to lift his head.
  • Sets the stage for motor skills like reaching, rolling over, sitting up and crawling.

What Can You Do Instead Of Tummy Time

How to do Tummy Time with a Newborn (Tummy Time for New Parents): 4 Tummy Time Tips!

There are 4 different ways to do tummy time, which can help build the muscles strength and pave the way for proper motor skills.

  • Side lying

To really help baby strength-train, lay her on her side sometimes too. Switch sides for each session. This will boost the muscles on each side of her body. You can support her head with a rolled-up towel or receiving blanket. If you lay in front of them, they will be happy!

  • Belly to belly

Babies love our faces. You may not want to face the world without makeup, but your baby wont care. She loves you no matter what!

I always said my youngest looked at me in a way no one else ever has, with such pure love and adoration. So this gives you a chance to soak up all that love. Lie down on your back and put your baby there on your chest. You can sing or dangle a baby toy there as you do.

  • The lap-lay

Lap laying might be the best option if youre on the go and cant get home to your usual tummy time spot. Put your baby on her belly across your lap. Use your hand to hold them in place and gently pat her. You can also dangle a toy in front of her to keep her entertained.

  • Rock-a-bye tummy

When the baby only wants to be with you, use your arms to support her chest and belly. Then rock them as you carry them in this face-down position.

One last thing about tummy time

I know it sucks when your baby shrieks and screams during tummy time. My rule of thumb was always to pick up my girls as newborns when they cried after a few minutes of tummy time.

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How To Provide Tummy Time

  • The best time for tummy time is when your baby is awake. He can practice holding his head up, looking side to side and supporting weight on his arms.

  • Start slowly. Place your baby on his belly for 1 to 2 minutes at a time. Try to do this 4 or 5 times a day. The goal is to increase each tummy time session to 10 minutes, 4 to 5 times a day. By 4 months of age, he can be on his tummy 90 minutes a day.

  • During rest breaks, help him roll and reach.

  • Try placing baby on your chest while you lie down. Place his arms forward to push up .

  • Place a small rolled towel under your babys chest from armpit to armpit. This makes it easier for your baby to lift his head and to push up .

  • Give your baby something to look at or to play with while on his tummy. A mirror is a great idea. Help him reach for toys . Help your baby bear weight through his arms by keeping his elbows under his shoulders.

  • Some babies dont like tummy time at first. Try shorter periods of tummy time several times a day. Giving baby a toy to play with may distract him and help him hold his head up. You can place your hands under his chest and lift him up gently to help him push up. When carrying him, hold him tummy side down or play airplane with him. As babies spend more time on their tummies, they get stronger and tummy time gets easier.

What You Need To Know

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that daily tummy time can help avoid the development of positional plagiocephaly or a flat head and also enhance motor development.
  • You can usually start formal tummy time when your baby is about two months old and your baby is able to lift their head. Before that, although it is OK to put your baby down on their tummy while they are awake and being supervised, if they aren’t lifting and moving their head much, then it really isn’t tummy time.
  • If your baby continues to hate tummy time, you can often just wait a few weeks and try again. You can also take other steps to keep your baby’s head from lying in the same position, such as using an infant carrier during the day, alternating sleep positions , and avoiding leaving your infant in car seats and bouncy type seats for long periods of time.

Thanks for your feedback!

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Here Are Some Tips For Newborn Tummy Time On The Floor:

You can see Ayesha Currys adorable newborn doing tummy time here.

  • Slowly roll your baby onto their tummy with arms tucked under their shoulders
  • Newborns like to have their heads to one side while lying on their bellies, mimicking their position in the womb
  • Offer your baby some High-Contrast Cards to look at while their head is to the side
  • Periodically move your baby so their head rests on the opposite side head-turning helps avoid flat spots and tight neck muscles
  • As your baby gets stronger, place High-Contrast Cards in front of them so they work to see the images when lifting up their chin

How To Do Tummy Time With Your Baby

How Much Tummy Time Does Your Baby Need to Get the ...

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Tummy time the period of time your infant spends on his or her belly, alert and playing is very important for healthy growth and development. Babies learn to support their heads and push themselves up while on their stomachs. Since it is now recommended that infants sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS, planned tummy time is even more crucial.

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My Baby Hates Tummy Time

Not at all! This is very normal, particularly when you first start placing babies on their stomach. The sensation of using lots of muscles for the first time is a weird one!

However, its worth sticking with it and gradually building up the amount of time you spend. You should aim for about 20 minutes per day by the time your baby gets to 6 months.

And there are all sorts of things you can do during tummy time that help to keep baby occupied.

How Do You Do Tummy Time

From birth, you could try a few different positions to help them play and wriggle around on their tummy. For a comfy and reassuring position with loads of eye and skin contact, you could lay your baby on your chest while youre lying on your back . You could also place your baby across your lap, holding them securely so they dont squirm away .

When theyre ready and can lean on their arms, you could see how they are with tummy time on the floor. Try this using a rolled up towel under their chest and armpits so they can lift their head more easily .

Once theyre four months old and can prop themselves up fully through their arms, they might not need the towel support for tummy time on the floor. This position is great for play and reaching for toys can help your baby to get stronger .

After theyre six months old, you could have even more fun with them by playing Superman. Thats where you hold them under their arms and gently lift them up so they stretch into the flying superheros pose .

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Ways To Turn Tummy Time Into Play Time

Tummy time is a great opportunity to play with your baby. Here are four ideas:

  • Put a favorite toy just out of your babyâs reach and encourage him to reach for the toy. Or, instead of a toy, you could also sit down low and just out of reach of your baby, so he can lift his head up and try to reach toward your face.

  • Place toys in different spots around your baby. This will encourage him to reach toward the different points, and as a result help develop the muscles that he will need to roll over, scoot, and eventually crawl.

  • Instead of placing your baby on a surface for tummy time, you could place your baby on your lap or chest. This is especially recommended for newborns up to 3 months old. When on your lap, lift and lower your legs at the same time then, for a variation, move your baby side to side. On your chest, your baby will try to lift his head and his arms to look at you. During these tummy time sessions, keep talking to your baby to comfort and encourage him.

  • If you have a toddler or young child in the house, have her play with your baby during tummy time. This can be a good bonding moment for siblings.

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