Your baby is never too young to play! Tummy time can start from the moment you bring your little one home from the hospital and is a great daytime activity. Making sure your baby is active is important for their health not only for now, but for later in life too. Tummy time can be a big part of that. It can help your little one develop important muscles and motor skills that they will need to use when they grow, and to start doing things like crawling and rolling over. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with your baby while you’re bonding at home together!
Tummy time for baby
There are no rules as to when you should do it, so try it whenever your baby is happy to play along! It is recommended that you start by giving your baby a couple of minutes of tummy time, two or three times a day, and gradually build this up. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends building to three to four tummy time sessions a day for 10 to 15 minutes each time.
Remember—never leave your baby alone when they are on their tummy. For safety reasons, baby should also always sleep on their backs.
While lying on your back, either on the floor or on the bed, place your baby on your stomach or chest, while holding them firmly for some cuddly face-to-face tummy time.
Place your baby on the floor, either on their play mat or a clean blanket or towel, then lie down at their level to encourage eye contact. If you feel they need extra support, place a rolled-up blanket or towel under their chest and arms.
Lie your baby across your lap on their tummy, making sure to keep a hand on their back or bottom to keep them steady. This is great for tummy time and can also be a helpful soothing or burping method.
4. Super baby
Celebrate the mini hero your baby is! While standing upright, put one hand under your baby’s chest and tummy and the other between their legs. Support their head the whole time, hold them tummy-side-down and close to your body.
5. All change!
Whenever you change your baby, try placing them on their tummy for a couple of minutes afterwards. (Never leave them on the changing table alone, of course).
- American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020. Tummy time activities. https://healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/The-Importance-of-Tummy-Time.aspx
- Canadian Pediatric Society, 2018. Practice point: positional plagiocephaly. https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/positional-plagiocephaly
- Pathways, 2020. Tummy time: activities to strengthen baby. https://pathways.org/print/tummy-time-brochure/
- Zero to Three, 2015. Stages of play from birth to 6 months: a fully body experience! https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/312-stages-of-play-from-birth-to-6-months-a-full-body-experience
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