120 Minutes of Tummy Time

120 minutes of tummy time (yes, it's that specific) has been shown to increase motor skills compared to children who didn't experience tummy time.
 

Tummy Time For Motor Skills
Tummy Time for Motor Skills
Tummy Time is the earliest form of parents helping with their baby’s motor skills.
— Skillful Play Therapy

Early on, tummy time is the best thing you can do for your baby's motor skills. This does not mean that your baby comes out of the womb ready for two hours of tummy time a day... please don't do that! What it means is that 120 minutes a day is what you need to work up to over several months. Try doing several sessions a day with your baby and working up to more and more time per session.

Remember, it's not just what your baby can tolerate, your tolerance is also important. No one should be stressed out trying to obtain this. If you and your baby are struggling with tummy time, please talk to your pediatrician or pediatric therapist. 

When can I start Tummy Time with my baby?

You can start tummy time with your newborn with some considerations like positioning for comfort and safety as discussed below.

What does Tummy Time mean?

  1. Baby propped up on your chest

  2. Propped up with a boppy pillow under armpits

  3. Positioned with towel rolls under the armpits

  4. And eventually flat on the tummy when your baby is ready

Basically, the higher the incline the easy it is for your baby to be on their tummy since gravity is assisting in the positioning. The stronger your baby gets, the less the incline needs to be and the more challenging it is.

How can I tell if my baby is ready to be laid flat on their tummy without being propped up?

  • When your baby is able to lift his or her head to clear their mouth and gently place their cheek on the floor looking outward to both sides.

Why is tummy time so important anyways?

  1. Extension... this is how we shape the spine

    • Think of the curve of your neck and low back

  2. Prevents plagiocephaly

    • Head flatness

  3. Develops shoulder stability

    • Which later helps with crawling and hand use for feeding and handwriting

  4. Helps with sight

    • Your baby learns to converge the eyes and focus on objects close up

  5. Sensory input to hands

    • This prepares for crawling, feeding, and handwriting (Again!)

  6. Vestibular input and weight shifting all of which prepares a baby for crawling

    • I explain why crawling is so important in my Free E-Book Help Your Baby Walk at the bottom of the page!

Tummy time SHOULD ALWAYS BE SUPERVISED!

Don't do Tummy Time right after feeding.

always put your baby on his or her back for sleeping.

Tummy Time for Motor Skills