Tummy Time is essential to your baby's development. Tummy time helps to develop strong neck and back muscles to enable your baby to successfully reach motor milestones like sitting up, crawling and walking.
So, How Much Tummy Time Should My Baby Have? Start playing and interacting with your baby while he/she is awake and on the tummy at least 2 to 3 times each day for a short period of time, (3-5 minutes), within the first week after birth. Before your baby's umbilical cord has fallen off, consider positioning your baby on your tummy or chest for tummy to tummy time. Increase the time to give your baby about 30-60 minutes of tummy time each day, whether that’s in one chunk or spread throughout the day in much smaller portions. By about 3 months of age, babies should get at least 90 minutes a day of tummy time. Research has shown that, at four months of age, babies who spend at least 80 minutes per day playing on their tummy while awake are able to more successfully reach motor milestones involving prone, supine (laying on the back), and sitting positions than those who spend less time playing on their tummy. Although 80-90 minutes sounds like a lot, it’s really not very much time throughout the course of a day. However, rather than shooting for a concrete number of minutes, (which will likely end with crying and fussing), follow the steps below to build up the strength and stamina needed for your baby to be able to independently lie on her tummy and actually enjoy it!
But, What if My Baby HATES Tummy Time?