Have you ever been asked –“Is baby getting enough tummy time?” But what does “enough” mean, how much time does baby really need to play on their tummy and why is it so important? Most health professionals will tell you that baby needs practice playing on their tummy and often parents will say that baby doesn’t really like it.
So what are the benefits? Why is it important for development? What can baby learn while playing on their tummy? And what can parents do to encourage it?
Play time on the tummy helps to:
- Strengthen baby’s neck, shoulder, arm and back muscles giving baby a better ability to move themselves, during sleep this ability is especially important in reducing the risk of SIDS.
- Allow baby to view their environment from a different angle supporting healthy brain development and spatial awareness.
- Helps stop a flat spot forming on baby’s head.
- Helps baby to meet milestones of rolling, crawling and walking.
Sounds important right? So when do we expect you as parents to help baby have tummy time? Well the good news is that a session of tummy play needs only be for 5 minutes 3 times a day!
There are many ways to help your baby play on their tummy, the important thing is it’s fun and baby has an adult supervising them. If you ever want an assessment of baby’s development, or more personalised tips on how to promote tummy play, please contact our Child Health team at Coast Life Families.
Remember for baby: back to sleep, tummy to play and sitting up to see the world!
Child and Family Health Nurse