Why Tummy Time is Important
Tummy time is important for your baby’s development. Here are the top 7 reasons why you should be incorporating tummy time into your baby’s routine.
Spending time on her belly is important because it strengthens the neck, back, shoulders, hips, arms, and hands. It will help to increase the range of motion / stretch tight muscles in the neck, hips, and abdominals.
2. Coordination and Body awareness
Your baby will learn about her body in a different position and experiment with how to work with and against gravity. She will learn to pivot (reaching and pivoting are precursors to crawling), balance, and increase postural control. By increasing coordination and body awareness, your baby will also initiate hand-eye coordination with reaching, hand grasp and release.
3. Prevention of flat spots
The more your baby is on their tummy, the less likely the back of your baby’s head will develop flat spots (positional plagiocephaly).
4. Acquire gross motor skills
The more waking hours spent on their tummy, the earlier babies will roll over, push up on arms and crawl (Dr. Karen Adolph, director of the NYU Infant Action Laboratory). Tummy time also strengthens extensor muscles which will lead to better sitting skills and postural control of your baby.
5. Sensory exposure
Lying on their tummy lets babies feel different textures on their arms, hands, and cheeks. This helps grow their touch sense and helps develop movement and balance (vestibular sense).
Your baby will experience the world from a different perspective during this time. It allows your baby to see things both near and far. It also helps them develop eye and hand coordination.
7. Aids in digestion and reflux.
Sometimes despite your best efforts, babies continue to resist spending time on their tummy. History of reflux, a slightly misshapen head, muscle asymmetries such as torticollis, and other challenges may require additional problem solving to improve tolerance to being placed on the tummy. Don’t give up! This position is critical to developing and achieving motor and cognitive milestones. We can help you figure out how to improve tummy time. Try our free Infant Massage Classes or call for a free screening to see if there is more we can do to promote healthy infant mobility.
If your child resists tummy time, is developing a flat spot, is unusually fussy, often looks to one side, or holds his head to one side, or you have any other questions about development, don’t hesitate to give us a call. BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy offers free screenings and consultations through Telehealth or at one of our child-friendly therapy gyms in Orland Park and Aurora, IL