An expression you start to hear a lot about when you have a baby. My health visitor, midwives, parents and friends were all talking about ‘Tummy Time’. I used to dread it as my first child Lucia would scream every time I turned her on her stomach and I felt I was torturing her.

However, I soon realised how useful it was for her neck development and sight development. Then I decided to persevere as I knew it was for her own good. I then put a baby mirror in front of her with a few toys she could grasp for, she soon loved it and it was easier on me. Soon Lucia started rolling over and the joy in her face when this happened. After this my beautiful new born baby who didn’t move at all started to move from each space I left her in. The fun began then!

We have a leaflet on ‘Tummy Time’ which may interest you if you are in the same mind set as I was.

Firstly, what is Tummy Time?

Tummy Time is giving babies time on their tummies, either on the floor or on you’re chest/across your legs. Babies should only be on tummy time when supervised by an adult. Always remember babies should only be placed on their tummies whilst awake. I know some people say let them sleep on their stomachs to stop with reflux, this is not advised and can lead to Cot Death. By giving your baby lots of Tummy Time you can help prevent a ‘Flat Head’. This can happen so easily and quickly without noticing.

To ensure your baby is getting enough Tummy Time, a good time to place them on their tummies is just after a nappy change. This will help remind you when to do it.

New parents always ask, ‘When should I start Tummy Time’?  The answer is, as soon as your little one is born. The more time they have on the floor on their tummy, the better. You will find when your baby is born they spend most of their time in seats or sleeping. This means they are in car seats, bouncers, cots or in our arms. But really for your baby to grow and thrive they need to spend time on the floor and be free to move about. As soon as a little baby comes into our lives we think… ‘What do we need to buy to entertain our baby?’  Or, ‘What do we need to put our baby into?’

We don’t realise that our baby is happy exploring on the floor and all the expensive gadgets are not in fact needed. So remember – get on the floor! Play with your baby at their level and see it from their view. You will notice neck muscles strengthening and crawling will be enhanced. Your knees may be sore but your baby will love it.  Their best friend right at their side.

This is how Tummy Time helps our babies:

  • Promote healthy brain development.
  • Helps bonding and attachment.
  • Can help reduce ‘Flat Head Syndrome’.
  • Helps physical development by improving muscle tone and co-ordination.
  • Good preparation for creeping, crawling and walking.

I hope you give it a go as much possible and soon you will see the benefits. Lots more great topics like this are covered across the whole of our ‘Growing Child Programme’.