In clinic, we are often asked about tummy time with regard to babies. Tummy time can be lots of different positions including laying the baby over your lap, or by laying on your back and putting your baby on your chest. Babies like to feel secure and reassured and these positions will often help them to feel more comfortable. If placing your baby on the floor then keep talking to hem and use age appropriate toys to play with them and keep them engaged.
Tummy time has numerous benefits including:
Development– studies have shown that the less time on the tummy in the first year the slower they generally are to acquire motor skills (potential delay of lifting the head, rolling over, crawling and pulling to stand.) Timing of motor skill milestones may be a factor in health and cognitive ability.
Plagiocephaly avoidance (flat head)
Improves and heightens awareness of visual skills including watching objects
Body and spatial awareness – understanding of own size
Muscle tone of hands and fingers – useful for self-feeding and later mark making/writing
Independence and exploration – builds self-confidence and self esteem
Balance necessary for body confidence for physical activity
Muscle tone in back, shoulders, neck and arms
Connections between the left and right side of the brain – development and problem solving
Always supervise your baby during tummy time.
Always place your baby on their back to sleep.