09 October 2019
All About Tummy Time
What is tummy time?
Tummy time involves any activity that avoids having your baby lay flat on their back and involves any time you play, position, or carry your baby while on their stomach.
When can I start tummy time?
Tummy time should be started immediately when you are settled back home from the hospital.
Why do babies need tummy time
- Tummy time helps strengthen a baby’s neck, back, and shoulder muscles, which are important for achieving motor skills.
- Tummy time helps with proper hip development. When babies are born their femurs (thigh bones) are rotated. Natural development allows a derotation to happen as their glutes get stronger and places a pull on their bones. While in tummy time, babies build their glute strength by activating their trunk and leg muscles against gravity. This promotes the natural development that is supposed to occur.
- Since The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that it is safest for babies to sleep on their backs, more children are suffering from Plagiocephaly (flat heads). This flattening can sometimes cause torticollis. Torticollis is when a single muscle or group of muscles in the neck becomes tight and/or weak on one side leading to a muscle imbalance. This muscle tightness or weakness can cause your baby to rest in the same position for an extended period of time.
How much tummy time does my baby need?
Your baby should work up to an accumulation of 1 hour of tummy time each day by the age of 3 months. Aim for a few minutes at a time, multiple times a day.
Tummy Time Helps With the Following:
- Achieving age appropriate gross motor skills (rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking)
- Balance and Coordination (which helps with playing and exploring their environment).
- Hand-eye coordination (writing, visual/motor skills, scissor skills)
- Attention (Allows children to concentrate on tasks that they are asked to do in school, like listening to a teacher at the front of the class).
- Confidence and Independence
Different Tummy Time Positions and tips/tricks:
- Placing a Boppy pillow or towel roll under your baby’s upper chest
- Place baby over your own leg(s)
- Tummy time on your chest
- Tummy Down Carry
If you have questions regarding your child’s development. Please call us at 410-358-1997. For more info on Pediatric Physical Therapy click here