Tummy Time

Tummy Time – most new moms know that their baby needs a lot of it, but are often confused about:
When do you start?
How often should you do it a day?
What if baby hates it, what do you do then?

Wendy Rohin of Everything Babies, a pediatric physical therapists answers these questions in the attached video.

Times have changed since our parents were raising us, we now have to place our babies on their backs to sleep.  This causes a drastic decrease in the amount of time babies are on their tummies, which means – we need to incorporate more tummy time into their waking hours.

Wendy suggests 90 minutes of tummy time per day starting from day one of life.

I know what you’re thinking, 90 minutes?! That’s a lot.  Well, fear not – this is not 90 minutes in one clip, rather 90 minutes throughout the day.  AND, tummy time doesn’t have to be the traditional “lay your baby on the tummy time mat and leave them”.  In fact, quite a few new babies don’t like being laid on the floor (by themselves), so they become distressed.  We do not endorse letting your baby cry on their tummy so you can achieve your 90 minutes.

Using 90 minutes as your guideline for how long your baby should be on their tummy a day, there are lots of ways you can try tummy time.

One that seems to work best during the very newborn stage, is just having a parent recline (or lay down), and putting your baby on your chest, tummy down.  This allows the baby to remain close to you, something they crave those early days and weeks, and get their tummy time in.  As long as you are awake, it’s perfectly fine to have baby laying on your tummy down to rack up those tummy time minutes.

As baby ages, using a simple blanket (simple primary colors) with a tummy time pillow (like this one), nursing pillow (like this one), or a pool noodle (like this one) to support your baby’s chest and keep their heads off the blanket.

If you start your baby’s tummy time from the beginning and use modalities to help them get used to it, before you know it they will be tummy time pros.

And, remember – each day with a baby is a new day, if you feel like you didn’t do enough tummy time one day – THAT IS OK.  Try again tomorrow.  You are doing the best you can with what you have (including a cranky, teething baby).

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