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    Physical Growth

    Tummy Time: Is It Really Necessary for Your Baby?

    Updated on 30 November 2022

    Expert Verified

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO

    Tummy time is the most crucial exercise for babies. Your baby lays on their stomach during this time. Putting your baby on their stomach for a few minutes three to four times a day is crucial for the development of motor, sensory, and visual skills.

    What is Tummy Time?

    Tummy time is when you place your baby on their stomach to play while they are awake. Practising tummy time daily helps babies develop the necessary muscles to lift their heads and eventually sit, crawl and walk. It is vital that your baby practices tummy time under your supervision only.

    When Should You Start Tummy Time & For How Long?

    You can start doing tummy time with your baby from the day you bring them home from the hospital. Babies benefit greatly from 2-3 tummy time sessions each day of 2-5 minutes duration. As your baby grows and starts enjoying, you can gradually increase the duration of tummy time sessions. Your baby should practice 15 minutes of tummy time a day.

    How Does Tummy Time Help in the Development of Various Skills?

    Placing your baby on their belly is essential because:

    ● It makes the baby’s back, neck, and core muscles strong.

    ● It helps your baby to achieve their step-by-step motor milestones like rolling, sitting, crawling, and more.

    ● Your baby touches various textures like blankets, carpet, etc. with their arms, cheeks, and hands during tummy time. This helps in the development of their sense of touch.

    ● The baby develops a sense of balance and body awareness as they try to maintain their body balance during weight shifts.

    ● Changing positions while practising tummy time helps them to develop their movement and balance.

    ● Baby learns to coordinate their eyes and hands as they look down at and observes the movement of hands.

    ● Tummy time on a twist and fold activity gym improves the visual skills and helps in the development of the gross motor skills of your baby.

    Where to Practice Tummy Time?

    Beddings with the added advantage of mosquito net and activity gym are the best among the rest for tummy time. You can surround your little one with their favourite toys. Bright colours and patterns will attract your little one's attention the most. Babies develop their visual, motor, and reflex skills by grabbing, kicking, or pulling on these toys. In comparison to the floor, carpets or mats, tummy time is easier and more comfortable on the soft and spongy surface of the cotton bedding.

    Is Tummy Time Helpful in Preventing Other Conditions?

    Besides being helpful in skill development, tummy time is also beneficial in preventing the following conditions:

    ● Positional plagiocephaly or the development of flat spots on the back and side of the head.

    ● Positional torticollis or the stiffening of neck muscles due to which baby’s head tilts to one side.

    ● Improving colic by releasing excessive air stuck in the baby’s system.

    Tummy time is the first body exercise for babies. It not only plays a crucial role in the development of essential skills but also proves helpful in preventing the conditions.

    Final Thoughts

    Tummy time helps to prepare your baby for exciting developmental milestones ahead of them. By 3 months, most babies are able to lift their heads 45 degrees by leaning on their forearms. By 4 months, babies can push up on their hands and lift their heads 90 degrees. Around 9 months, many babies begin to crawl and then those first steps aren't faraway. So keep an eye on the prize and practice tummy time with your little one every day.

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    Verified Article by

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO

    Written by



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