Tummy Time Benefits
As a newborn parent, you may have heard the term ‘tummy time,’ but what exactly is it? Why is tummy time so important?
Welcome to Our Family Chiropractor. You can visit us at our family-based chiropractic clinic at Suite 6/17 Surf Rd, Cronulla NSW 2230 (open in Google Maps). In this blog we discuss the importance of tummy time and provide some tips on how you can maximise the benefits of this activity.
Tummy time is an important activity we can do for our child’s nervous system development. Tummy time is when you lay your baby on his/her stomachs for some time while they are awake and supervised.
Tummy time can begin as soon as a baby is born. There is no need to wait for when the baby grows.
Tummy time can be introduced for a few minutes at each nappy change as a general guideline.
Because some babies may not like this position, we recommend the following:
- shake a rattle or any toy to get your baby to look up
- to encourage reaching and movement, put a toy in front of them
- engage your baby by getting down on their eye level so they can see you
From little things, big things grow
Tummy time helps in the development of strength and motor (movement) skills in babies. According to an article published in the American Academy of Pediatrics “at least 30 minutes of tummy time per day appeared beneficial to motor development”.
Regular tummy time will help your baby to:
- roll over
- sit up, and
These simple steps lay the foundation for walking and other bodily movements, as their bodies grow and develop.
Tummy time also helps with head shape. But why is this significant to us? The shape of your baby’s head is important as it can impact their development.
Plagiocephaly is the flattening of the side and back of the skull by external forces. Research demonstrates there is a relationship between plagiocephaly & developmental delay.
Tummy time also strengthens the neck and shoulder muscles so that newborns can move their heads and avoid flat spots (or plagiocephaly, an uneven or asymmetrical head shape). This normal head movement provides great input into the receptors and to the brainstem, which looks after motor and cognitive development.
If you notice any of the following observations:
- Baby favours one side while sleeping or feeding
- Wry neck or a difficulty in turning the head one way
- A flat spot on the head,
Then you may consider an assessment by a suitable health professional.
Tummy Time FAQs
When should you start tummy time?
You should start tummy time as early as day one. A great place to start is with a newborn baby placed on your chest or your lap.
How long should a 1 month old do tummy time?
A one month old baby should do tummy time for around to the three to five minute mark. Aim to do this two or three times per day.
Why does my baby need Tummy Time?
Tummy time develops neck and shoulder muscles, helps to build up muscles to meet milestones and gross motor skills. Tummy time also helps to prevent flat head syndrome. It also helps to develop sensory processing.
At what age should baby stop Tummy Time?
It is beneficial to have a baby spend time on their tummy, even as they mature past crawling and walking.
What exercise should a baby do?
There are benefits to engaging in stretching, and strengthening exercises which are age appropriate for your baby. After an assessment with the Chiropractors at our team, we can show you exercises appropriate for your baby.
- Is it safe to visit a chiropractor when pregnant?
- Sciatica when pregnant
- Back pain experienced when pregnant
Find Out More
Our Family Chiropractor aims to improve nervous system health and spinal function for people of all ages. As mothers and chiropractors, we have a passion for natural healthcare and looking after the whole family. We provide safe, gentle and effective Chiropractic Care for babies, children, pregnant women, mums, dads, grandparents and athletes.
Contact us to find out how you and your family may benefit from care.