Tummy Time

Why is it important? 

Supervised tummy time is an important activity that needs to be part of a baby’s daily routine. It helps prevent baby flathead and tight neck muscles. It is also important in promoting your baby’s development.

There has been an increase in the number of babies developing baby flathead (positional plagiocephaly), as well as tight neck muscles (torticollis). Babies’ skulls are very soft and can be affected by pressure. Babies also have weak neck muscles and tend to turn their heads to one side when placed on their back.

How much tummy time?

Research recommends an hour of supervised tummy time each day, while they are alert and awake. Some babies however, do not seem to enjoy it. Here are some suggestions to help.

How to include tummy time in your routine

  • Start out slowly with a few minutes at a time throughout the day from the time of birth and build up to the full hour by 3 months of age
  • Get down face to face with your baby
  • Give them a mirror, book or toys to look at while on their tummy
  • Cuddle chest to chest, in a semi-reclined position
  • Put a rolled up blanket under their chest at armpit level to help support them
  • Encourage your baby to look in both directions by changing the position of mobiles and toys for baby to look at
  • Roll baby onto tummy for a minute or two after each diaper change

For more information or if you have any questions please contact Chatham-Kent Public Health at 519.352.7270 ext. 2903.

Last updated: February 2017