Incorporate Tummy Time Into Baby's Play

As a new mom, you already know that you need to put baby to sleep on his back to avoid the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But did you know that since doctors began recommending that babies sleep on their backs they are spending less and less time on their tummies… time that is needed for their development? The Hatch breaks down tummy time and why it's so important for baby's proper growth.

tummy time

What is tummy time?

Tummy time is the cute little name for the supervised time that baby spends on the floor or ground (with a blanket, please!) exploring life on his stomach! You can make this fun time for baby by setting a few soft, colorful toys in from of him.

Why is it important?

Spending less time on their tummies at night and during naps means babies are spending less time developing the muscles of the neck and upper back which are need to help them lift their beautiful little heads along with other fun baby activities like sitting up unassisted, rolling over and crawling around.

Tummy time could counter positional plagiocephaly

Because babies are now napping/sleeping on their backs, pediatricians have seen an increase in positional plagiocephaly, a flat spot that developments on the back of some babies soft heads. However, more time on the tummy when awake could help baby's head development its natural round shape, sans flat spot.

Pediatricians recommend spending some tummy time with babies as early as possible in their young lives, which makes them more accepting of this time and also could help them develop milestones such as turning their heads at a younger age.

Make tummy time fun

Spend some time each day with baby during tummy time. Make this special time fun for both of you by reading books, singing songs, and playing with interesting toys with patterns or geometric shapes to intrigue baby. Don't force this if baby resists tummy time after a few minutes. This could be uncomfortable for him if his umbilical cord stump has yet to fall off. But don't give up! It is important to continue to practice some tummy time through out each day.

More on baby development

Why are well-baby checkups so important
How play stimulates babies
The importance of solo play for baby

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