Tummy time – why it is important

  • PublishedOctober 11, 2019

Tummy time refers to laying the baby on their stomach. Having a new born means you have to be vigilant about every aspect of their being. This includes their sleeping position. It may seem like this is a non issue but in actual sense, it is a very important part of your child’s upbringing. This is because pediatricians have over the years identified sleeping positions as one of the causes of SIDS.

In 1992, the  American Academy of Pediatrics recommended babies sleep on their backs as opposed to their front. These positions are referred to as prone(front) and supine(back ). Despite the fact that the supine position is recommended by pediatricians, it has some effects. Some of these include less sleep and slower physical development. The baby could end up having bad motor skills and limited cognitive ability. Although this isn’t always the case it is important to give your baby the best chance. As a result, tummy time should be practiced. This exercise helps the baby build their arm, neck and chest muscles. All these are very crucial as the baby learns to crawl and walk.

How to go about tummy time

As you go about tummy time, the baby should be awake. This exercise is intended to compensate for what the baby misses out on as they sleep. While doing this it is highly likely that the baby will cry. To ease the baby into it, try and make the exercise fun. Go down on your stomach as well and play with the baby. Segment your time and adhere to the allocated time no matter how uncomfortable the baby gets.


Here are some ways you could go about keeping the baby involved as they lay on their stomach

Remind the baby that you’re there by singing to them or stroking the back or hands
Hold a non breakable mirror to your baby so they can see their reflection.
Lie next to them and talk to them. It could be about anything, you could also read to them

ALSO READ: How to develop your baby’s sleeping patterns

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