Tips & Tricks to Make Tummy Time a Success

In babies, Children, parenting by compleoPTLeave a Comment

Did you know that babies are not spending enough time on their stomachs? This is contributing to a rise in delay in mobility, plagiocephaly (change in head shape), and torticollis (preference to tilt head and look to only one side), and can affect both gross motor and fine motor development. While we recommend sleeping flat on the back in a crib with nothing in it, we have gotten away from putting our babies on their stomachs.

Often, I meet moms who have avoided tummy time for weeks or months because of fear or uncertainty on how best to get your baby used to be on their stomach. Here are some different ways to try tummy time to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone!

1. Minimize time spent in
devices (Swings, jumpers, bumbo chairs, etc.).
The best place for your baby is the floor where they can explore their environment and develop age-appropriate skills. Every minute in a device or “container,” is time taken away from chances to develop age-appropriate skills like rolling and crawling. Did you know you have to practice something 10,000 times to become an expert? That means baby needs lots of opportunity to trial and error their skills!

2. How Often? Tummy time should be performed at minimum once an awake hour and should start as soon as your little one comes home from the hospital! Yes, tummy time on you counts! In the early weeks doing tummy time on a parent while reclined is great for bonding and promoting head control.

To read all 8 Tips about Tummy Time, visit our blog post at 

3. Tummy Time Corner: Designate a space for your baby with floor mat (we love the LoveEvery Mats!), a mirror (dollar store has great ones), and high contrast toys

4. Exercise Ball: Try using an exercise ball for tummy time. This allows you to find a comfortable position if your child does not tolerate a fully horizontal position. You can start vertical and slowly work them towards horizontal while singing a song

5.Boppy/Towel Roll: Use a boppy pillow or rolled up towel and place it under baby’s arms to give them support while working on those tummy time skills.

6. Get the family involved: Let older siblings or pets entertain your little one while they are hanging out on their stomach! Parents or older siblings can dangle toys to get the baby to reach while on their stomach. This weight shift to reach for toys will be important in crawling and rolling.

7. Alternate sides for all tasks: feeding, carrying the baby,
and which side you place favorite toys. This ensures your
baby will look both ways and not develop a preference to use only one side with tight neck muscles (called torticollis)

8. Reflux can contribute to both torticollis and not liking
being placed flat on the stomach or back, talk to your
physician about other feeding options if you think this is a
contributing factor for your baby

Questions or concerns about your baby’s development? We provide complimentary developmental screens or look for our next workshop!

Does your baby already have a diagnosis of delayed milestones, torticollis or plagiocephaly? Don’t stress, we can help! Call Compleo at (254) 892-4957 to schedule an Evaluation with our Doctor of Physical Therapy.

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