When Can You Start Tummy Time With Newborn

When Do Babies Hold Head Up

Tummy Time for Newborns

When your baby is between 1 and 3 months old, she’ll be gradually gaining the strength needed to hold her head up. By around 2 months, while she’s lying on her stomach, you might notice she can raise her head for just a few seconds at a time. These brief moments help strengthen the muscles in the back of her neck.

When Can I Take Newborn Outside

According to most pediatric health experts, infants can be taken out in public or outside right away as long as parents follow some basic safety precautions. There’s no need to wait until 6 weeks or 2 months of age. Getting out, and in particular, getting outside in nature, is good for parents and babies.

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.

You May Like: Why Do Newborns Cry A Lot

When Can Babies Hold Their Head Up

When your baby is between 1 and 3 months old, she’ll be gradually gaining the strength needed to hold her head up. By around 2 months, while she’s lying on her stomach, you might notice she can raise her head for just a few seconds at a time. These brief moments help strengthen the muscles in the back of her neck.

When You Should Do Tummy Time

Tummy Time

Maybe your baby may be experiencing discomfort from lying on her tummy due to a couple of factors. To lower these factors, you have to ensure that you time it right.

You should avoid placing your baby on her tummy when shes hungry. However, do not place baby on her tummy after youve just fed her as this will be extremely uncomfortable and might make her vomit. Always wait at least an hour after feeding time, which will hence lower spit-ups as well.

Keep in mind that tummy time is likely to go well if the baby is not tired or sleepy. Another great tip is to do try doing it after every diaper change, even if its just for a few minutes. This way, the baby will associate diaper changes with tummy time and will hence, start expecting it. Additionally, the short periods of tummy time will help the baby get used to it.

Stay with The Baby

As a mom, you ought to try and keep your baby company during tummy time. If your baby already hates tummy time, you being there should help.

Most babies, especially newborns, will struggle to lift their heads-up during tummy time. Not being able to see whats around them may make them abandoned. Hence, you want to make sure that your baby can see you and knows that you are there.

While keeping the baby company, talk, sing or play with him.

Prop Baby Up

Provide Entertainment

Start Slow


Read Also: What Can You Give A Newborn To Help Them Poop

Always Supervise Your Baby During Tummy Time

Tummy time is a workout for your baby since they are using many muscles to try to keep their heads up and to keep themselves up with their arms. According to Zero To Three, anytime your little one is doing tummy time you need to be there to supervise them.

This is because if your little one ends up falling asleep during tummy time you need to make sure to roll them over to their back so they do not put themselves in danger while sleeping. Make sure when your little one does tummy time they have your undivided attention.

How To Do Tummy Time Exercises

Once or twice a day, hold your baby upright in your arms with her head resting on your shoulder and her belly against your upper chest. Allow her to practice lifting her head, as you gently support her neck and head with your hand.

Place your baby with her tummy and face down on a sheet to give her practice moving her head and getting her nose and mouth free. The first few times, you may need to help by lifting her head a tiny bit and showing her how to swing her face to the side.

When your infant is 2-3 months old, place your hand under her chest during the tummy exercise to lift her a tiny bit and help her start learning how to use her arms to push up.

These exercises will teach her how to free her face by arching her back and lifting her head, in case she accidentally flips over in sleep.

Don’t Miss: How To Apply For Insurance For A Newborn

Understanding When To Start Tummy Time With Your Newborn Baby

If youre wondering when to start tummy time with your infant or what age do you start tummy time, you first may be curious what tummy time even is! Tummy time is when you place your baby face down on a low, semi-hard surface and you encourage her to push herself up to develop her neck, head and shoulder muscles. Tummy time is important because it helps baby build up strength needed for rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and eventually walking.

Some experts say to start this as early as the day you bring her home from the hospital with little intervals of tummy time exercises to build up her strength. By the time your baby is between 2-4 months, the benefits of doing tummy time should be evident. Thats when shell be a little bit stronger with control of her head and neck muscles. Of course, always supervise your baby during tummy time.

The full push up typically happens at around 6 months old, especially if shes been practicing several times a day. Remember, every baby is different so dont be concerned if your little athlete achieves this goal sooner or later than what is considered typical. Keep reading for some more FAQs about when to start tummy time with your newborn.

Helps Motor Skill Development

WATCH THIS Before You Start Tummy Time For Newborns // Kids OT Help

When they spend time on their bellies, little ones use and develop the muscles that allow them to lift their heads up, roll and, eventually, crawl.

Having them on the floor helps develop core muscle strength as well as their back, neck and arms, Dr. Badgett says. Tummy time leads to milestones like crawling and rolling a little bit earlier.

Studies have shown that infants who dont spend time in this position are more likely to experience a delay in motor development.

Also Check: Can Newborn Babies Sleep With A Pacifier

How Can I Keep My Baby Safe During Tummy Time

Never let your baby sleep on their stomach, even for short naps. Your baby should always be awake for tummy time.

  • Make sure you or another adult stays with them the whole time to make sure theyre awake.
  • If your baby falls asleep during tummy time, put them on their back to sleep in a safe place. When theyre rested, try again.

Can My Baby Do Tummy Time After Eating

An AAP statement recommends that you begin tummy time between the time your baby was born and the time it is a few months old. Putting the baby back across her lap if you put her belly-down on your chest at once allows her to settle into the posture. It might cause her to spit up when her stomachs full is forced against the wall after feeding.

Read Also: How To Co Sleep With Newborn

How Much Tummy Time Babies Need By Age

Newborns may tolerate tummy time for only 1 to 2 minutes at first. As your baby grows, you can increase tummy time.

You can still give them opportunities for tummy time after theyve reached these developmental stages. Tummy time can help them continue to develop muscles needed for:

  • sitting for longer periods of time
  • crawling

Its important to make time for tummy time each day. You can try to fit it in after you give your little one a bath or after a diaper change.

You may want to avoid tummy time immediately after eating, though.

For some babies, laying on their tummy when its full may disrupt digestion and this could lead to gas or spit up. Other babies, however, seem to pass gas more easily on their tummies.

The younger baby is when you start tummy time, the better. This lets them get used to it. Even in the hospital, you can place baby on their tummy on your chest, supporting their neck the whole time.

When you get home from the hospital, find quiet moments throughout your day for some tummy time. You can also lie or sit on the floor next to them and make faces or read them a board book.

You can also try these other activities during tummy time:

  • Place baby on an inflatable water mat. Its full of textures and colors for them to discover.
  • Use an activity gym for baby to play with and explore.
  • Hold one toy a few inches from your babys head and let them follow it with their eyes.
  • Give your baby a nonbreakable mirror to let them see their reflection .

What Can You Do Instead Of Tummy Time

16 Tummy Time Ideas and Activities by Age

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.

Don’t Miss: How Much Formula To Feed A Newborn Baby

How Much Tummy Time

Tummy time may vary depending on your babys adjustment period and your schedule but trying for 10-15 minutes per day as they start out, work your way up to 20-30 minutes per day eventually reaching an hour per day by the time baby is 3 months old. You and baby will feel it out together, just pay attention to those tummy time milestones and see how baby is liking tummy time. Try your best to set up a regular time for tummy time if you can, this will help baby get used to tummy time. In addition, make sure to alternate babys position and direction throughout playtime.

If baby is not quite comfortable with tummy time at the start, read on for tips on how to make this transition easier and more fun for both of you!

Tummy Time: Know The Basics

Why does my baby need Tummy Time?

  • To develop the core muscles of the neck, back, and shoulder muscles
  • To meet developmental milestones
  • To possibly help prevent early motor delays and conditions, such as flat head syndrome and twisted neck .

When should my baby start Tummy Time?

As a newborn baby, as soon as they come home from the hospital.

How long should you do Tummy Time?

Aim to achieve at least an hour of Tummy Time total per day by 3 months of age. This hour of Tummy Time can be broken up into smaller parts. From newborn age, start with a few minutes at a time and build up to longer sessions.

How often should you do Tummy Time?

Start with small increments of a few minutes at a time, several times a day. Eventually, try to do longer Tummy Time sessions, eventually building up to a full hour.

At what age should baby stop Tummy Time?

Once baby begins crawling, around 7-9 months, they will be getting the developmental benefits of Tummy Time while moving, and it is not as essential to have them do Tummy Time. However, it is still beneficial to have baby spend some time in the Tummy Time position during play.

Recommended Reading: What Shots Do Newborns Need

Remember: 30 For Tummy Time

Shoot for about 30 minutes of tummy time a day. But your baby doesnt have to do 30 minutes all at once! You can put your baby in tummy time for short periods across the day. In fact, young babies may only tolerate a minute or two on their tummies at first, and then build up to longer periods as they develop the strength to hold themselves up. When babies get fussy, roll them over or pick them up, and try another activity.

Related Posts

Popular Articles