Just a few minutes, and just a few times a day …
- helps your baby strengthen neck, shoulder and trunk muscles – needed for walking, football and dancing!
- builds a bond between you and your baby
- shows your baby some of the important social skills
You can start this from as soon as baby is born!
Keep it short, just a minute or two, to start with, and build up the time – it can be tiring for your baby at first.
And remember – don’t put your baby to sleep on their tummy. Tummy time is active time.
Your baby may not like being on his/her tummy at first – if you begin early and make it part of the daily routine, he/she will stop complaining and start to enjoy it
How do I do tummy time?
Here are five “moves” you can try together – Dads are often very good at these
- Tummy to tummy. Lie down on your back and place your baby tummy-to-tummy, or tummy-to-chest. The smell and warmth of you makes this a really comforting position – great for “together time”
- Eye level. Your baby loves your face and voice. Stay at the same level (you on the floor, baby on bed or sofa) – and talk and sing. If you move your position a little, see if your baby will move their head to follow
- Tummy to your lap. A good way to settle a grizzly baby. Place your baby across your lap, making sure he/she is supported at the bottom area – then talk, play or massage
- Tummy-down carrying. Just for a change, carry your baby around with the tummy down on your arm, rather than upright and snuggled against your body
- Tummy minute. After nappy changes, place your baby on his/her tummy for 1-2 minutes – make this a daily workout!
What about when my baby is older?
Even from 4-6 months, daily tummy time is still important, and here are three ways you can make it more fun:
- once your baby can lift his/her head on their own, help to bend the arms under the body to try and push up – he/she can see more of the world now and interact more easily
- put some toys around your baby to encourage reaching out to the front and to the side
- put some toys ahead and out of reach to encourage to move towards the toy