The Importance Of Tummy Time

You will always play an active role in your child’s treatment plan. Our services are always personalized around your child’s area of concern and coupled with the latest technology and research. 

The Importance Of Tummy Time

If you’re wondering about how tummy time can improve your child’s development, check out this blog from Let’s Grow Pediatrics.

What Is Tummy Time?

Tummy time refers to the practice of placing your awake and supervised baby on their stomach. Tummy time is crucial for strengthening the neck muscles, developing control, and promoting stability in the shoulder girdles. By placing your baby on their stomach, they can build the necessary strength and coordination for future motor skills such as rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking.

You can start tummy time as early as one week old. A gentle way to begin is by placing your baby on your chest while you recline. This allows them to gradually adjust to tummy time in a safe and familiar environment. As they become more comfortable, you can gradually recline further until you are lying on your back and they are on their stomach. As soon as possible, transition to tummy time on a firm surface, such as a mat on the floor.

Remember “Back To Sleep, Tummy To Play”

It is important to note that tummy time should never be done while the baby is asleep or unsupervised. To prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), infants should always sleep on their backs.

Tips For Tummy Time

  • If your baby seems to dislike tummy time initially, don’t worry. Start slowly and remain persistent, even if they don’t appear to enjoy it at first. Begin with what they can tolerate and gradually increase the duration over time. Offer reassurance and encouragement throughout the process.

  • While your baby is engaged in tummy time, carefully observe for any signs of pain or distress, such as abnormal breathing or a change in facial color. If you notice any of these behaviors, immediately end the tummy time session. Provide comfort and reassurance before resuming the activity.

  • To make tummy time easier for your baby, you can try doing it with them on your chest or positioned over your lap. This close proximity can provide a sense of security. Incorporating visual stimulation can also help. Offer a toy for them to interact with, placing it within arm’s reach and near their waist. Once they become more comfortable with tummy time in these positions, you can gradually transition to placing them on a blanket on the floor. To provide additional support, you can roll up a blanket and place it under their chest.

How Can We Make Tummy Time More Comfortable For Infants With Reflux?

1. Wait After Feeding: Wait at least 30 minutes after your baby’s feeding before placing them on their tummy. This allows their food to settle and reduces the likelihood of discomfort or reflux symptoms during tummy time.

2. Gradual Transition: Start by allowing your baby to play on their back. This position is usually more comfortable for infants with reflux. Let them engage in activities or interact with toys while on their back for a few minutes.

3. Roll to Their Side: After a few minutes on their back, gradually roll your baby to their side, preferably the left side. This position can help reduce reflux symptoms and provide additional comfort. Allow them to play in this side-lying position for a few minutes.

4. Roll to Tummy: Once your baby is comfortable on their side, gently assist them in rolling onto their stomach. This transition from side-lying to tummy time can be done gradually and with care. Support their movements and provide reassurance as they adjust to the new position.

5. Play in Tummy Time: Allow your baby to play while on their stomach. Engage them with age-appropriate toys and encourage their exploration. It’s important to closely monitor their comfort level and any signs of distress or reflux symptoms.

Other Tips For Preventing Flat Spots In Your Baby’s Head

1. Hold Baby Upright: Make sure to have regular “cuddle time” with your baby, holding them upright when they are not sleeping. This position reduces prolonged pressure on the back of their head.

2. Limit Time in Restrictive Devices: Minimize the amount of time your baby spends in car seats, bouncers, swings, and carriers where their head is in contact with a surface. These devices can contribute to prolonged pressure on one area of the head, potentially leading to flat spots.

3. Vary Crib Orientation: Change the direction in which your baby lies in the crib from week to week. For instance, one week, have their feet point toward one end of the crib, and the following week, switch to having their feet point toward the other end. This encourages them to naturally turn their head to different positions while sleeping.

4. Rotate Crib Placement: Periodically change the location of your baby’s crib within the room. By placing the crib in different spots every few weeks, you stimulate your baby’s curiosity, prompting them to look around and move their head to explore new surroundings.

How Does Lack Of Tummy Time Affect A Baby’s Development?

Lack of tummy time has been associated with delayed developmental milestones. It also supports visual-motor development, cognitive functioning, and oral-motor skills necessary for feeding and speech development. Tummy time is vital in preventing conditions like torticollis and abnormal skull or facial shaping (plagiocephaly and hemihypoplasia) that can occur when infants spend extended periods on their backs. Additionally, it contributes to appropriate jaw development.

How Can Physical Therapy Benefit A Child’s Development?

At Let’s Grow Pediatrics, we believe that it is important to catch any signs of developmental delays early. We recommend that if a child has a diagnosis with known associated delays, they should seek a physical therapy referral before any signs of delay become apparent. Our evaluations for developmental disabilities and plagiocephaly begin as early as one month of age. To find out more about our treatment options and how your child can benefit from Pediatric Intensive Physical Therapy, reach out to Let’s Grow Pediatrics in Edmond, OK. Call 405-562-3485 to schedule your consultation today.

Send Us A Message

Office Information

Share This Page


Ready For Your First Visit?