Importance Of Tummy Time

Tummy time. What is that a new mom might ask.  I know I did.  Since babies now sleep on their backs it has become important to put kids down on their tummy’s during the day supervised.  With my first son we had a hard time getting him to lay on his stomach and since he fussed so, I did not make him do it often enough.  I could tell something was wrong.  I just didn’t know what.  We later found out he had torticollis in his neck- kind of like a pulled muscle.  Because of this, he tilted his head to one side which caused him to develop a flat spot on the back of his head.  He hated tummy time more than most because his neck was hurting him.  With a little physical therapy ( more tummy time and stretches….) his head rounded out.  Because of this experience, I want to share with moms that may want to know, the importance of tummy time.

Tummy time is simple.  Just get a blanket or buy a tummy mat and lay the baby down on his stomach.  ALWAYS supervise a baby while laying on his stomach.  As you can see in the picture we used big brothers car rug this morning   Tummy time builds up muscle strength in the babies neck and back.  The baby, while taking a turn in a different position, gets off his or her head.  They also see the world in a different view.  We usually do tummy time about 10 minutes at a time.  And aim to do it a few times throughout the day.  Also taking turns with the baby on their side will get them off their heads too.  Find fun toys to let the baby look at during tummy time.  One of my 3 kids favorites has been a floor mirror.  Having toys that make noise are great to get the kids to turn their head left and right to find the noise.  My mom has always taken the boys and turned them over in her lap laying over her legs.  She helps them get a few minutes of tummy time in too.  You can also hold the baby facing out sideways in your arms to help them stretch their necks and build up the muscles.  You can also have the babies turn heir heads left to right while on their back to help their necks.  
My older boys and I love getting down in the floor with baby brother and showing him toys and playing with him.  The older boys love taking their turns at tummy time too,lol.  It also becomes a way for us all to bond and play together as well.
So the main importances of tummy time is: building muscles, looking at the world in a new view, getting them off their heads( to round them out), stretching their muscles, and taking time to play with them in a new position and bond.
note: I am not a specialist and you should always consult with a physician when you have a concern or question.  I encourage you read up on tummy time. All kids are different and may have special situations.  This is what we have learned in our experience and has worked for me and my kids.
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