“Tummy Time” is a type of activity in which babies are encouraged to move by lying on their stomachs. Tummy time is important for the baby’s physical development, strengthening their muscles and improving their motor skills.
Tummy time should only be practiced while the baby is awake and under supervision.
Tummy time should only be practiced while the baby is awake and under supervision, babies be placed on their backs for naps or night sleeps. It should not be practiced when the baby is very hungry or immediately after a meal. For Tummy Time, times when the baby is peaceful should be preferred. The best times are after a diaper change or when your baby is waking up from a short daytime nap.
Time to start tummy time
Tummy Time exercises can be practiced from the first day the baby comes home from the hospital. It is appropriate to start with 2 or 3 short (3-5 minutes) tummy time exercises each day. As babies grow and get stronger, they need more time on their tummy to build their own strength. When the baby is approximately 2 months old, tummy time should be practiced for a total of 15-30 minutes a day.
Let’s make tummy time exercises fun.
Some babies may not like the tummy time position at first. To make this exercise fun, place toys in a circle around the baby. The baby’s efforts to reach different points of the circle will allow the development of the appropriate muscles for rolling, dragging on the tummy and crawling. ou can also lie on your back and place your baby on your chest. Your baby’s attempt to see your face by lifting his head and using his arms will support muscle development.
An important reminder
If your baby was born prematurely or has reflux disease or special needs, do not start tummy time exercises without consulting your doctor.
- Hewitt, L., Kerr, E., Stanley, R. M., & Okely, A. D. (2020). Tummy Time and Infant Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics, 145(6), e20192168. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-2168
- American Academy of Pediatrics. (2023). Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/back-to-sleep-tummy-to-play.aspx
- American Academy of Pediatrics. (2023). 3 Tummy Time Activities to Try With Your Baby. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/The-Importance-of-Tummy-Time.aspx