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There are a number of good reasons for you to encourage your baby to spend time on their tummy. Check out these surprising facts about tummy time, and learn how you can incorporate them into your baby’s routine.
What is tummy time?
Tummy time is time that your baby spends lying on his or her abdomen while awake. This should happen under supervision.
Why is tummy time important?
During the first few months of life, babies spend a lot of time on their backs. As a result, the neck, back and shoulder muscles don’t get a lot of exercise. By putting your baby on his or her belly, you encourage movement of these muscles, as your baby has to look up, left and right. Muscles of the trunk are also developed during tummy time, and these will be important in allowing your baby to sit without support later on.
How to incorporate tummy time into your routine
Try to incorporate a few minutes of tummy time into your baby’s daily routine. Put a blanket or mat on the floor and place your little one on their belly. At first, tummy time sessions may only last a few minutes, but you can aim to build on this so that baby ultimately spends 40 to 60 minutes on their tummy each day. Keep your baby engaged and lay out toys, encouraging exploration. Get on the floor with your little one, as having you on the same level will be comforting. Work tummy time into other activities, such as after bath time or during burp time (over your lap). If your little one resists, start off with tummy time on your own chest before you move to the floor.
The information in this article is intended for general purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.