It’s not until you become a parent that tummy time means something other than getting your ab work done at the gym. But once you have a baby, it’s critical to start placing baby on their tummy several times a day for valuable tummy time. Since the safest way for babies to sleep is on their backs, making time for tummy time is the only way they’re going to start building their upper body strength.
Top Reasons Why Babies Need Tummy Time
- Safety: Tummy time can help prevent SIDS. Your baby needs tummy time to strengthen the muscles on their upper back and neck, which can help them move their faces away from something that might smother them. Stronger muscles help allow your baby to sit, crawl and roll over much easier.
- Prevents flat head syndrome: The more time a baby can spend on their tummies, the less likely it is they will develop plagiocephaly (aka flat head syndrome). Baby’s skulls are soft when they are born and if they spend too much time on their backs, they can develop flat areas.
- New vantage point: Allowing your baby to get some tummy time in will also give them a new view on the world. Imagine how dull it can get looking at the same spot on the ceiling all day long!
When to Start Tummy Time
Not sure of when to start incorporating tummy time into your baby’s daily routine? Experts say parents can begin placing baby on their bellies for supervised tummy time as early as right after birth and starting no later than one month old. Even newborns are able to lift their heads and turn it to one side! Tummy time should happen after baby has been fed and burped. Aim for 3-4 tummy time sessions a day at about 15 minutes each. For first time tummy timers, expect some cries and noisy protests. This is hard work for a little person! But just like any good exercise routine, the payoff comes with consistency.
Tummy Time: How to Get Started
So many mums and dads love the DockATot Deluxe for tummy time. One of the reasons we created the rounded bumper is to comfortably give babies a chance to enjoy their tummy time. By placing baby’s arms and upper body over the bumper, they’ll appreciate the comfortable elevation. Once baby is positioned on their tummies, try these activities for making tummy time fun time:
- Place a baby-safe play mirror or busy book nearby so they can try and reach for it.
- Stand up and sing songs or talk to baby, the idea is for them to try and lift their head to see you.
- Lay an infant activity mat under the dock.