How Tummy Time Can Help Your Baby Thrive

Head shape

As a parent, you want to give your baby the best start in life. One simple yet incredibly beneficial activity for your baby is tummy time. This important practice can help your little one develop essential skills and reach important milestones. Understanding the benefits of tummy time and how to incorporate it into your baby’s routine can set them up for success as they grow.

What is Tummy Time?

Tummy time refers to the time your baby spends on their stomach while they are awake and supervised. This can be on the floor, on your chest, or on a firm, flat surface. It is recommended that babies start tummy time from the very beginning, with short sessions several times a day, gradually increasing the duration as they grow.

The Benefits of Tummy Time

Tummy time offers a wide range of benefits for your baby’s physical and cognitive development. Here are just a few of the ways tummy time can help your little one thrive:

  • Developing Neck and Shoulder Muscles: Tummy time helps your baby build the strength in their neck, shoulder, and upper body muscles, which are crucial for reaching, grasping, and eventually crawling.

  • Preventing Flat Head Syndrome: Spending time on their tummy can help reduce the risk of flat spots on your baby’s head, which can occur if they spend too much time on their back or in a car seat.

  • Improving Motor Skills: Tummy time encourages your baby to push up, roll over, and eventually crawl, which are important developmental milestones for physical coordination and strength.

  • Enhancing Sensory Development: Being on their tummy allows your baby to explore and interact with their surroundings in a different way, stimulating their senses and cognitive development.

  • Preventing Developmental Delays: Regular tummy time can help your baby develop the muscle strength, coordination, and sensory skills they need to reach developmental milestones on time.

How to Make Tummy Time Enjoyable

It’s important to make tummy time a positive and enjoyable experience for your baby to encourage them to engage in it regularly. Here are some tips for making tummy time fun:

  • Use Interactive Toys: Place colorful, engaging toys within your baby’s reach to motivate them to lift their head and reach out during tummy time.

  • Get Down on Their Level: Get down on the floor with your baby during tummy time to provide encouragement, interaction, and support.

  • Play Music: Some babies respond well to music during tummy time, so consider playing soft, soothing music to create a calming atmosphere.

  • Offer Gentle Massage: Gently massage your baby’s back and legs to soothe and comfort them during tummy time.

  • Use a Mirror: Prop up a baby-safe mirror in front of your little one during tummy time so they can see their reflection, which can be fascinating and entertaining.


Q: When should I start tummy time with my baby?

A: You can start tummy time with your baby from day one, as long as they are awake and alert. Begin with short, frequent sessions and gradually increase the duration as your baby grows.

Q: How long should tummy time sessions be?

A: Initially, aim for 1-2 minutes of tummy time several times a day. As your baby becomes more comfortable and strong, you can gradually increase the duration to 15-20 minutes a few times a day.

Q: What if my baby doesn’t like tummy time?

A: Some babies may initially resist tummy time, but it’s important to persist and make it a regular part of their routine. Try making it more enjoyable with interactive toys, music, and your presence to provide encouragement and support.

Q: Is it safe for my baby to sleep on their tummy?

A: It’s important to follow safe sleeping practices and always place your baby on their back to sleep, as this reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Tummy time should be supervised and separate from sleep time.