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How To Start Tummy Time Newborn

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Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! As a new parent, you are likely eager to help your baby grow and develop.

One important milestone for newborns is tummy time. Not only does it build strength in their neck and upper body muscles, but it also helps prevent flat spots on the back of their head.

Starting tummy time can be intimidating, especially if you’re not sure where to begin. But don’t worry – with a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll have your little one happily spending time on their belly in no time.

In this article, we’ll go over why tummy time is important for your newborn, how to prepare for it, and some fun ways to make it engaging for both you and your baby. Let’s get started!

Why Tummy Time is Important for Your Newborn

It’s crucial for your little one to spend some time on their belly in the early stages of development.

Tummy time offers numerous benefits, such as strengthening neck and shoulder muscles, improving head control, and preventing flat spots on the head. It also helps with overall motor development, including crawling and rolling over.

To encourage tummy time participation, start with short sessions of a few minutes at a time and gradually increase to longer periods. Use toys or a mirror to capture your baby’s attention while they are lying on their tummy. You can also try placing them on different surfaces like a blanket or play mat to keep things interesting.

Remember to always supervise your baby during tummy time and offer plenty of support if needed. With patience and consistency, you’ll soon find that your little one is enjoying spending more time on their belly!

Preparing for Tummy Time

Get ready for your little one to strengthen their neck and back muscles by laying them on their belly with a soft blanket underneath, encouraging them to lift their head and gaze around.

Before you start tummy time, make sure you have the right equipment. A soft blanket or mat is essential as it provides a comfortable surface for your baby to lay on. You can also use a small pillow or rolled towel under their chest to help prop them up.

It’s important to establish a tummy time schedule that works for both you and your newborn. Start with short sessions of 2-3 minutes after diaper changes or naps, gradually increasing the time as they become more comfortable with this position.

You can also incorporate tummy time into playtime by placing toys in front of them to encourage reaching and grasping while strengthening their muscles.

Remember, every baby is different, so don’t be discouraged if your little one doesn’t take to tummy time immediately – keep trying!

Tips for Starting Tummy Time

When beginning to help your baby build neck and back strength by placing them on their belly, try incorporating colorful toys or a mirror in front of them to keep their attention and make it more enjoyable.

Start with short sessions of tummy time, about 1-2 minutes at a time, a few times a day. As your baby gets stronger and more comfortable in this position, gradually increase the frequency and duration of tummy time.

It’s important to remember that babies may not enjoy being on their bellies at first. If they become fussy or upset during tummy time, take breaks as needed and try again later.

You can also try laying down next to them or providing gentle support with pillows to make them feel more secure. With patience and consistency, your baby will eventually develop the necessary muscle strength for crawling and other milestones.

Making Tummy Time Fun and Engaging

Make tummy time a fun and engaging experience for your little one by incorporating creative activities that will stimulate their senses. Use colorful toys, textured blankets or mats, or even a mirror to capture their attention.

You can also sing playful songs or nursery rhymes, recite poems, or make silly faces to keep them entertained while they work on building their neck and back strength.

Another way to make tummy time more enjoyable is by joining in the fun yourself! Get down on the floor with your baby and interact with them during this special bonding time. Talk to them, tickle their toes, or play peek-a-boo to show them that tummy time can be a positive experience.

Remember to always supervise your baby during tummy time and encourage breaks if they become fussy or tired. By making tummy time engaging and interactive, you’re not only helping your baby develop important physical skills but also creating lasting memories together.

Building on Tummy Time for Continued Development

Continuing to incorporate tummy strengthening exercises into your baby’s routine will aid in their overall physical development.

As your little one grows, they will reach different tummy time milestones that you can work towards together. For example, once they are able to hold their head up and push up on their forearms, you can encourage them to lift their hips and legs off the ground as well. This engages more muscles in their core and helps them build strength for future developmental tasks like crawling and walking.

In addition to traditional tummy time exercises, you can also switch things up by introducing toys or props that encourage movement and exploration.

A play gym with hanging toys or a soft mirror on the floor can motivate your baby to reach for objects while on their stomach. You can also try gently rocking them side-to-side or back-and-forth while they are lying on their belly for added sensory input.

Remember, each baby develops at their own pace, so be patient and encouraging as they work towards building strong muscles through tummy time exercises.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a newborn do tummy time per session?

To make sure your newborn gets all the benefits of tummy time, it’s important to know how long they should do it per session. Generally, aim for 2-3 sessions of 3-5 minutes each day.

This will help them strengthen their neck and upper body muscles, improve their motor skills, and prevent flat spots on their head.

Remember to always supervise your baby during tummy time and try different positions like laying them across your lap or propping them up with a rolled-up towel under their chest.

With consistent practice, your little one will soon be a pro at tummy time!

Can tummy time be done right after a feeding?

To make tummy time enjoyable for your newborn, it’s important to know when to do it. While tummy time is beneficial for babies after feeding, you should wait at least 30 minutes before starting. This gives your baby enough time to digest and reduces the risk of spit-up or discomfort during the activity.

Once you’re ready to start, there are several tips for making tummy time fun for your little one. You can use toys or colorful objects within reach to encourage reaching and grabbing, sing songs or talk to them while they play on their stomachs, and gradually increase the duration of each session as your baby gets stronger.

With consistent practice and patience, tummy time can help strengthen your baby’s neck, back, and core muscles while promoting healthy development.

Should a newborn be supervised during tummy time?

When it comes to tummy time for newborns, it’s important to always supervise them. A newborn may not have the strength or ability to lift their head up yet, which can lead to suffocation if left unattended.

However, there are many benefits to tummy time such as strengthening neck and back muscles, promoting motor development, and preventing flat spots on the head. If you’re unable to supervise your baby during tummy time, there are alternative exercises that can provide similar benefits such as holding your baby over your shoulder or laying them on their back with a toy above them.

Always prioritize safety and consult with your pediatrician before starting any new exercises with your newborn.

Is it safe to do tummy time on a soft surface like a bed or couch?

To ensure your baby’s safety during tummy time, it’s important to avoid using soft surfaces like a bed or couch. Instead, consider tummy time alternatives such as a play mat or firm blanket on the floor.

This will provide a stable and safe surface for your newborn to practice lifting their head and developing their neck muscles. Additionally, taking tummy time outdoors can offer numerous benefits such as fresh air, natural light exposure, and sensory stimulation from the environment.

Just make sure to supervise your little one at all times and protect them from direct sunlight with appropriate clothing or shade.

What if my newborn doesn’t seem to like tummy time, how can I encourage them to participate?

Encouraging your newborn to participate in tummy time can be a challenge, but there are plenty of fun activities you can try.

Tummy time is essential for your baby’s development as it helps strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles, improves motor skills, and promotes sensory development.

One way to make tummy time more enjoyable is by using colorful toys or soft books to capture their attention.

You could also lay down next to them and make funny faces or sing songs to keep them engaged.

Remember, each baby is unique and may take some time to adjust to this new position, so start with short periods of tummy time and gradually increase the length as they become more comfortable.


Now that you know the importance of tummy time for your newborn, it’s time to start incorporating it into your daily routine.

Remember to prepare a safe and comfortable space, use toys or props to make it engaging, and start with short sessions gradually increasing the duration.

You may encounter some resistance from your baby at first, but with patience and consistency, they’ll eventually learn to enjoy tummy time.

Furthermore, as your baby grows and develops new skills during tummy time, be sure to build on those skills by introducing new challenges and activities.

Whether it’s reaching for toys or practicing crawling movements, every little step counts towards their overall development.

With these tips in mind, you can help support your baby’s physical growth and cognitive development through the simple practice of tummy time.

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