Tummy time - What’s all the fuss about?

These days many babies seem to dislike lying on their tummies.

Possible reasons for this may include that:
  • We seldom place babies in tummy lying to play and explore because they cry and fuss: therefore they don’t practice this position; they don’t become stronger in this position, and so they remain intolerant of it.
  • They may experience discomfort when lying on their tummies due to re-flux.
  • They may have sensory sensitivities.
  • They may have been born prematurely and thus have undeveloped patterns of movement.
  • They may have weak muscles for various reasons.

When it comes to stimulating your baby’s development in tummy lying, remember to keep it easy and functional.

Try some of these ideas:
  • Practice tummy lying often in the day – a minute or two on baby’s tummy 5-10 times per day will soon strengthen the muscles of the shoulders and core.
  • At each nappy change roll baby onto her tummy; give deep pressure over the pelvis to ‘anchor’ it to the supporting surface. This will help baby to lift her head more easily and to engage with her environment.
  • Lie baby on her tummy on your chest – enjoy the ‘face to face’ time.
  • Place baby in tummy lying, over a rolled up towel under her chest.

When we practice tummy lying with our baby more frequently and for short periods of time in the day, baby will start to resist this less, and will become stronger and enjoy this important developmental position even more.

Nicky Lasch
Physiotherapist