The Importance of Tummy Time for Your Baby’s Development

Head shape

As a new parent, you may have heard about the importance of tummy time for your baby, but you may not fully understand why it’s so crucial for your little one’s development. Tummy time is the period when you place your baby on their stomach while they are awake and supervised. It may seem like a simple activity, but it actually plays a vital role in helping your baby reach important developmental milestones. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of tummy time and provide tips for incorporating it into your baby’s daily routine.

The Benefits of Tummy Time

There are several key reasons why tummy time is essential for your baby’s development:

  1. Strengthens neck and shoulder muscles: When your baby lifts their head and pushes up with their arms during tummy time, they are building the muscles needed for head control and, eventually, sitting up.

  2. Promotes motor skills: Tummy time helps babies develop the motor skills necessary for rolling over, crawling, and eventually walking.

  3. Prevents flat spots on the head: Spending too much time lying on their back can lead to a flattened area on a baby’s head, but tummy time allows for more variety in head positioning.

  4. Boosts sensory development: Being on their tummy gives babies a different perspective and helps them develop visual and sensory skills.

How to Incorporate Tummy Time into Your Baby’s Routine

It’s recommended to start tummy time from the very beginning, even when your baby is just a few days old. Here are some tips for incorporating tummy time into your baby’s daily routine:

  • Start small: Begin with just a few minutes of tummy time a few times a day, gradually increasing the duration as your baby gets stronger.

  • Use a firm surface: Place your baby on a firm, flat surface, such as a blanket or play mat on the floor. Avoid putting them on soft surfaces like a bed or couch.

  • Engage with your baby: Get down on the floor with your baby during tummy time. Use toys, mirrors, or your voice to encourage them to lift their head and explore their surroundings.

  • Be patient: Some babies may initially resist tummy time, but with patience and persistence, they will grow to enjoy it and benefit from its developmental advantages.


How often and for how long should my baby have tummy time?

It’s recommended to aim for around 15-20 minutes of tummy time, spread out over the course of the day. This can be done in short increments, multiple times a day.

What if my baby doesn’t like tummy time?

Many babies initially protest tummy time, but with gentle encouragement and consistency, they typically grow to tolerate and even enjoy it. If your baby continues to resist tummy time, speak with your pediatrician for additional guidance.

Can tummy time help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

While tummy time is crucial for development, it’s important to note that it should only be done while your baby is awake and under supervision. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS.

In Conclusion

Tummy time is a simple yet powerful activity that can have a significant impact on your baby’s development. By incorporating tummy time into your baby’s daily routine and providing them with opportunities to strengthen their neck, shoulders, and motor skills, you are setting them up for success as they grow and reach important developmental milestones. Remember to be patient and enjoy this special bonding time with your little one!