Is Your Baby Getting Enough Tummy Time? Here’s Why It Matters


As a parent, you want the best for your baby. You make sure they’re fed, changed, and getting enough sleep. But have you thought about whether they’re getting enough tummy time?

Tummy time refers to the time your baby spends on their stomach when they’re awake and supervised. It’s an important part of your baby’s development, and here’s why it matters:

Strengthens neck and shoulder muscles

When your baby spends time on their tummy, they have to lift their head to look around. This helps them build the muscles in their neck and shoulders, which are essential for reaching developmental milestones, like rolling over, sitting up, and crawling.

Prevents flat spots on the head

Spending too much time lying on their back can lead to your baby developing flat spots on their head. Tummy time gives your baby a chance to relieve the pressure on the back of their head and reduce the risk of this happening.

Encourages motor development

Being on their tummy allows your baby to push up, kick, and scoot, which helps them develop their fine and gross motor skills. It also gives them the opportunity to explore their surroundings and interact with toys, further enhancing their motor development.

Helps with sensory development

When on their tummy, babies have different sensory experiences than when on their back. They can feel different textures, see things from a new perspective, and work on their hand-eye coordination. All of these experiences are crucial for their overall sensory development.

Now that you know why tummy time is important, you may be wondering how much is enough. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting tummy time from the very first days home from the hospital. Aim for 2-3 sessions of tummy time for about 3-5 minutes each, gradually increasing the duration as your baby gets older.

How to make tummy time enjoyable

Some babies love tummy time, while others may need a little encouragement. Here are a few tips to make tummy time more enjoyable for your baby:

  • Start with short sessions and gradually increase the time as your baby gets more comfortable.

  • Get down on the floor with your baby and engage in eye contact and conversation to make it more interactive.

  • Place toys and mirrors in front of your baby to grab their attention and encourage reaching and grabbing.

  • Try different surfaces, like a firm blanket or a play mat, to see what your baby prefers.


Q: My baby hates tummy time. What should I do?

A: It’s common for babies to resist tummy time at first. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the time as your baby gets more used to it. Engage with your baby during tummy time to make it more enjoyable, and try different surfaces or activities to see what they respond to best.

Q: How can I fit tummy time into our daily routine?

A: You can incorporate tummy time into your baby’s routine by offering it after a diaper change or before a nap. You can also try doing tummy time on your chest or lap for added comfort and bonding.

Tummy time is a simple yet crucial part of your baby’s development. By ensuring your baby gets enough tummy time, you’re setting them up for success as they grow and reach new milestones.