Tummy Time

Tummy time is important for babies and plays a crucial role in their development. Tummy time refers to the practice of placing an infant on their stomach while they are awake and supervised. In Australia, government recommendations state:

Even before they are mobile, babies should be physically active several times a day in various ways. This can be through:
– supervised interactive floor-based play – the more the better
– at least 30 minutes of tummy time over the course of the day while awake, including moving their arms and legs
– reaching and grasping for objects.

Australian Government; Department of Health and Aged Care

Research published by Hewitt in 2020 discussed some of the important aspects of tummy time:

  • Develops Motor Skills: Tummy time was positively associated with gross motor and total development – it encourages the development of motor skills and coordination, which are important for crawling and eventually walking.
  • Prevents Flat Head Syndrome: Tummy time helps reduce the risk of developing “brachycephaly” (the flattening of the back of baby’s head) and promotes a more rounded head shape.
  • Improves Neck Strength: Tummy time can help babies develop neck extensor strength, which is necessary for holding their head up and looking around.
  • Enhances Visual and Sensory Stimulation: Being on their tummy allows babies to explore their environment from a different perspective, enhancing their visual and sensory experiences.
  • Prepares for Rolling and Crawling: The skills developed during tummy time are foundational for later milestones, such as rolling over and crawling.

It’s important to start tummy time from a very early age, often within the first few days or weeks after birth, and gradually increase the duration as the baby gets older. Always supervise your baby during tummy time and ensure that they are awake and alert.

But what does it mean when bub does not enjoy tummy time? Could there be a reason for this behaviour?

(I’ll give you a hint – it might be to do with that “strong neck” your newborn has!)