The Importance of Tummy Time: How It Benefits Your Baby's Development
What is Tummy Time?
Tummy Time is one of baby’s first exercises—and the most important!
Tummy Time is the period during the day your baby spends awake and on their stomach. It is a crucial exercise for baby’s motor, visual, and sensory development.
Baby can begin Tummy Time as a newborn. They can continue to do Tummy Time throughout their first year. Watch the Tummy Time guide:
Tummy Time: Know the Basics
Why does my baby need Tummy Time?
- To develop the core muscles of the neck, back, and shoulder muscles
- To meet developmental milestones
- To possibly help prevent early motor delays and conditions, such as flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (positional torticollis).
When should my baby start Tummy Time?
As a newborn baby, as soon as they come home from the hospital.
How long should you do Tummy Time?
Aim to achieve at least an hour of Tummy Time total per day by 3 months of age. This hour of Tummy Time can be broken up into smaller parts. From newborn age, start with a few minutes at a time and build up to longer sessions.
How often should you do Tummy Time?
Start with small increments of a few minutes at a time, several times a day. Eventually, try to do longer Tummy Time sessions, eventually building up to a full hour.
At what age should baby stop Tummy Time?
Once baby begins crawling, around 7-9 months, they will be getting the developmental benefits of Tummy Time while moving, and it is not as essential to have them do Tummy Time. However, it is still beneficial to have baby spend some time in the Tummy Time position (also known as prone position) during play.
Always Remember: Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends baby always sleep on their back. That means spending time on their tummy while awake is crucial for development!
And remember: if baby falls asleep during Tummy Time, be sure to place them on their back and let them continue to sleep.