Fair   66.0F  |  Forecast »

How to Get Your Infant to Enjoy Tummy Time – Tips and Techniques

Spending time on their tummies during the day is crucial for your little one's health and development. Here are some easy tips to get started.

If you recently had a baby, you've probably heard your share of infant-care dos and don'ts. You know how important it is to place baby on her back for sleeping – but giving her tummy time each day is just as important for health and development. Got a squirmer or a screamer? These tips and techniques can help guide your family toward belly bliss.

Play with purpose

"Tummy time is recommended while children are awake, and on their stomach with a parent present," says Carolynn Rowland, Ph.D., director for the Detroit Healthy Start project. "It gives babies an opportunity to develop their upper chest, arms and neck."

This muscle building teaches tykes to lift their heads and support themselves, which may help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Spending time on their bellies during waking hours helps reduce flat spots on the head, too, and leads to important milestones, such as rolling over, sitting and crawling.

Time it right

Most babies should spend roughly three to five minutes on their bellies two to three times a day once home from the hospital, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes. If you're still adjusting to life with baby, start when you are both ready and comfortable, preferably within four weeks of baby's birth, says Rowland.

Gradually increase the amount of tummy time as your baby grows and shows more interest. Plan sessions after naps or diaper changes when baby is alert and happy. Avoid post-meal time though: Little ones with full bellies are likely to be uncomfortable and can get sick.

If your child becomes very upset, it's OK to pick him up and soothe him. A little tummy time is better than none. Just make sure you try again later.

Rules of engagement

Parents should place baby on a safe, solid surface for tummy time – not the couch or an easy chair, Rowland advises. This is the best way to avoid falls and give your baby a chance to practice her pushups. Try and make it fun! If your baby is fond of a certain rattle, teething ring or lovey, place it within her reach starting out, and let her enjoy playing. Make sure the toys you use are age-appropriate, and watch for choking hazards, Rowland cautions.

It's the perfect opportunity to play together undistracted. Try a game of patty-cake or peekaboo and see how she responds. If she's still uneasy, turn on some soothing music to relax her. Remember to be loving and supportive, and you'll be on your way to tummy time triumph.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

After only one night in, Romanian socialite Monica Gabor took her adopted son back to the orphanage because the child was too distressed.

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Head to the park or on a hike and make the great outdoors your dinner spot. Here are six ideas to help you plan your meal – from drink to dessert.

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Want a few simple, fun sewing ideas for the kids, projects to brighten up their rooms or maybe just tips for DIY tinkering? These authors have you covered.

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

A father from Virginia claims a patch of desert in Egypt, calls it the Kingdom of North Sudan – just so his daughter can be the princess of this region.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement