My Dear Fellow Parents (or soon to be Parents),
We often get the questions around tummy time. Why is it needed and when should I start is often asked. We thought it might be helpful to summarise the views by our Little Genius team and our experts in this blog post. As always, curious to hear your thoughts and reactions!
What is it and why is it needed?
Tummy time describes the times when you place your baby on her/his stomach while your baby is awake and someone is watching. Tummy time is so important because it:
- Helps prevent flat spots on the back of your baby's head
- Makes neck and shoulder muscles stronger so your baby can start to sit up, crawl and walk
- Improves your baby's motor skills (using muscles to move and complete an action)
When to start with tummy time?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supervised tummy time for full-term babies starting in the first week, as soon as your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off. For newborns, success is a minute at a time, 2 to 3 sessions per day. If they start crying, it’s time for a break. As the baby grows and shows enjoyment of tummy time, you can lengthen the sessions. As babies grow older, more tummy time helps build strength for sitting up, rolling over, crawling, and walking. A confidence booster in some way!
Some additional practical tips for newborn tummy time (for on the floor):
- Slowly roll your baby onto her/his tummy with arms tucked under the shoulders
- Newborns like to have their heads to one side while lying on their bellies, mimicking their position in the womb
- Offer your baby some high contrast cards (black and white) to look at while their head is to the side (see our Genius Box No.1 or Banana Panda's cards)
- Periodically move your baby so their head rests on the opposite side; head-turning helps avoid flat spots and tight neck muscles
- As your baby gets stronger, place High-Contrast Cards in front of them so they work to see the images when lifting up their chin
Our Genius boxes contain multiple other toys that ideally support your little one's tummy time - and not only that but generally support your baby in its development!
Please reach out with any questions you might have & rock on!
The Little Genius Team