We’ve all SO many times how you need to do “Tummy Time” with your little one. But seriously, in amongst all the other things you have to do with your baby….is it THAT important???
The simple answer is….YES (I think you may have suspected it was….and that’s why you’re reading this!). But why?
Since 1990, the “Back to Sleep” campaign has encouraged us all to put our little ones to sleep on their backs, not on their front. Follow this link from more information from The Lullaby Trust: https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/sleeping-position/ Although this was for very good reason (to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) it does mean that during the day, we need to make sure that babies have devoted time to play on their tummies.
If a baby spends too much time on their back, they may start to show signs of a head turn preference or flattening of one side of their head (plagiocephaly) as well as other signs of delay in their gross motor development. So Tummy Time is indeed important and can begin as soon as your baby makes an appearance.
So why Tummy Time? There are various benefits….some obvious and some not so much. Firstly your baby will be working on strengthening their neck (head control). You will see this develop as they get older from having their face on the floor to being able to successfully lift their head up and turn to each side.
Alongside this they will be strengthening their shoulders and arms, back and bottom muscles. These will all help to form the building blocks for the next stages of development-rolling, crawling, sitting….and beyond.
Evidence shows that Tummy Time also promotes better cognitive development (thinking & problem solving) and better vision as your baby is learning through exploration, and new experiences.
These are just a few examples of the benefits as otherwise this article would go on and on……but stay tuned for what you can expect from your baby when you place them on their tummy and some tips to make it less stressful for you both!