When To Start Tummy Time Newborn

Making Tummy Time Interesting Fun And Safe


Let your baby know youre there by talking and singing, stroking his back or tickling his hands.

If your baby doesnt 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.

Final Thoughts On Tummy Time

Dont stress if your baby hates tummy time. If youre finding it challenging to keep your baby engaged, then take a break from tummy time exercises for a couple of days or even a week. Shortening tummy time sessions and spacing the exercises throughout the day will make it more bearable for your little one. Remember, some tummy time is better than no tummy time.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.

Tummy Time Activities: Newborn 6 Weeks Old

Tummy to Tummy

When first starting tummy time with your newborn, tummy to tummy can be the easiest and most comfortable option for your little one.

To practice tummy to tummy, you will first lay back on some pillows, either on the couch or your bed. Try to lay at an angle and not flat on your back. Then, you will lay your baby on your tummy or chest with their face near yours.

Tummy to tummy is an excellent option because you are still holding your child, which gives them a sense of security. Plus, your baby can see your face, which can help calm them if they get fussy during tummy time.

Cradle In Your Arms

Cradling your baby in your arms tummy down is often referred to as the football hold. This hold can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, its not only great for newborn tummy time but also for calming down a fussy baby.

For the football hold, you will place one hand under your babys belly and between their legs. Your baby will lay tummy-down on your forearm, with their head resting near your elbow. You can use your other hand to help support their head and neck.

Once your baby is in the football hold, you can walk around your house, and they can take in their environment.

Using Pillow Props

Once your baby is a few weeks old, you can start using different props while practicing tummy time on the floor.

Black And White Toys

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What Should I Do If My Baby Hates Tummy Time

Some babies really hate tummy time at first, especially if you wait too long to try it. Eventually, your baby may get used to tummy time and will tolerate it more.

Here are some things you can try to help baby as they get used to tummy time:

  • placing a toy in front of them
  • sitting or lying on the floor facing your baby
  • reading or signing to them

One alternative position for babies who dont enjoy tummy time is side-lying.

Try placing your baby on a blanket on their side. You can prop up their back against a rolled-up towel and place a folded washcloth under their head for support.

Again, they should be awake and supervised when you do this.

Getting Started: Tummy Time For Baby

When To Start Tummy Time With Your Baby

Choose a time when your baby is alert and awake. A good time is after a nap or diaper change. It is best to avoid tummy time immediately after a feed, as this may make him feel very uncomfortable.

Keep it simple. Place a mat or clean blanket on the floor and place your baby on his stomach on it. Start with sessions that are just 3-5 minutes long, two to three times a day.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should aim to get at least 20 minutes of tummy time a day for your baby by the time he is three to four months old.

As you start tummy time, you may notice your babys head landing in an awkward face-plant position more often than not. Dont worry about this but be alert as to when this happens so you can quickly encourage him to raise his head.

If he starts to cry after a minute or so, try to encourage him to stay on his tummy for just a few seconds longer by talking and singing to him, or interacting with him in other ways .

But if you feel hes really had enough, carry him and try again later.

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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.

What Else Should I Know

  • Always stay with your baby during tummy time.
  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep to help prevent SIDS .
  • Do tummy time on a low, safe surface. Don’t put your baby on a sofa or bed, where they could roll off or suffocate on pillows or a soft surface.

If your baby doesn’t seem to enjoy tummy time, add some variety. Sing songs, keep colorful toys nearby, get down on the floor and eye-to-eye with your baby, and have others join you. Don’t give up! Tummy time is important, and some babies just need a little extra time to get used to it.

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Tummy Time: The Basics

When should tummy time start? The American Academy of Pediatrics says you can start right away when baby is home from the hospital.

Begin with short sessions where you lay them on their belly on a firm surface for a just a few minutes at a time, a few times each day.

Babies, at that point, probably wont enjoy doing it, Dr. Ye Mon says. You may only be able to get in a few minutes before they start fussing.

But as baby begins to get stronger more aware of whats around them, theyll tolerate longer stretches of tummy time and actually come to enjoy it. At that point, you can work up to a full hour of tummy time each day, until they start crawling.

How Often Should Your Baby Do Tummy Time


Itâs a good idea to do tummy time two to three times a day. Newborns only need a few minutes at a time, but as your baby gets older , you can increase the frequency and length of sessions.

If you start giving tummy time from birth, by the time your little one is three months old he or she could be able to do around an hour of tummy time, spread over several sessions every day.

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How Long Should Newborn Tummy Time Be

Like all new exercises, you can work your way up to longer periods when your newborn is on their tummy. You can also break up the time that your baby is on the floor. In general, you should try and get at least 15 minutes of tummy time per day. You can do five minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening in-between your babys naps to help break it up and make it less challenging for your newborn.

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.

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How To Do Tummy Time

There are many different ways you can help baby practice spending time on their tummy. Tummy time doesnt have to always mean lying down have some fun with it and mix it up. Changing up positions, scenery and activities is important to keeping baby engaged and interested. Plus, its fun for parents too! Try to get both parents involved during tummy time to maximize time and make baby comfortable with tummy time with each parent. Here are some infant tummy time tips to get you started!

When To Start Tummy Time And How To Do It

Tummy Time

Tummy time is an important and exciting time during babys early development but between the fun times and big milestones, tummy time brings a lot of questions. Were here to help breakdown tummy time for all the moms and dads out there with our guide on when to start tummy time, what to do, and other tummy time tips.

Looking for information on a specific tummy time topic? Click the links to navigate to each section.

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What Can I Do If My Baby Hates Tummy Time

Lots of babies hate tummy time at first, but most begin to tolerate and sometimes even enjoy it as they build the muscles required to lift their heads. In the meantime, make tummy time less torturous by:

  • Trying several shorter stints a day. Aim for just 1 to 2 minutes at a time at first. With practice, your baby will work up to longer belly sessions.
  • Switching up the locations. A change in scenery is sometimes enough to keep tummy time tolerable.

How Do I Do Tummy Time


Start newborns on tummy time by placing them belly-down on your chest or across your lap for a few minutes at a time, two or three times a day. While lying on their belly, they can practice lifting their head and strengthening the neck and shoulder muscles. As your baby gets used to it, you can go for a little longer.

Older Babies

Place a blanket down in a clear area on the floor. Place your baby on their stomach on the blanket for 35 minutes to start, several times each day. Your baby may get fussy and frustrated in this position. Keep the first sessions of tummy time brief and gradually lengthen them. It’s also a good idea to do tummy time when your baby is fed, changed, and happy.

As your baby gets used to it, place your little one belly-down more often or for longer periods of time. Experts recommend that babies work up to about 1 hour of tummy time a day by the time they’re 3 months old.

Make some noises or shake a rattle to get your child to look up and push up. Place a favorite toy in front of your baby to encourage reaching and forward movement.

Babies With Torticollis or a Flat Spot

This exercise is good for babies with torticollis and/or a flat spot, and can help treat both problems:

  • Lay your baby on your lap for tummy time. Position your baby with their head turned away from you. Then, talk or sing to your baby. Encourage your little one to turn and face you. Do this exercise for 1015 minutes.

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Tummy Time Is A Workout For Babies

Tummy time builds babies arm, shoulder, stomach, and back strength. It also prepares babies for rolling and crawlingand helps them develop a nice round head. Tummy time also gives babies a new perspective on the world, which builds their thinking skills. And when babies reach for toys in tummy time, they are developing arm, hand, and finger skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Tummy Time: Know The Basics

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

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.

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