Tummy Time

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

by Penny Simkin, PT; et al.

Switch Up Your Baby’s Awake Body Positions

Because babies need to sleep on their backs and spend time in car sweats and swings, the back of their heads can become flattened from contact with a firm surface. To prevent your baby from developing a misshapen head and to give her an opportunity to lift her head and strengthen her neck muscles, frequently place her on her tummy when she’s awake for as long as she’s happy in that position. Also limit the amount of time your baby spends in car seats and other baby equipment that put pressure on the back of her head. Many babies fuss when they’re fist learning to lie on their tummies. Over time, they’ll tolerate tummy time and eventually will begin to enjoy longer sessions. Here are ways provide supervised tummy time:

  • Lay your baby across your lap.
  • Lay your baby on the floor with a nursing pillow supporting her chest.
  • Lay your baby on an exercise ball, hold her steady, and roll the ball gently forward and back.
  • Hold baby tummy-side-down while practicing postpartum exercises.

In addition, holding your baby uptight in your arms or in a baby carrier (such as a Moby Wrap or ERGObaby carrier) will provide tummy-time benefits. 

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide

© copyright Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Leave your comment

Signup to receive
news, specials & more!