Boston Othotics and Prosthetics

Tummy Time Guide

What is Tummy Time?

  • Any time your infant is positioned on his/her belly, whether on a firm surface such as a play mat, or being carried, can be considered Tummy Time.

Why do Tummy Time?

  • With the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommending babies sleep on their backs, and with the increasing time spent traveling in cars and in baby carriers, babies are spending more and more time on the backs of their heads. Therefore, Tummy Time is important for strengthening neck muscles, improved range of motion, motor development, and to avoid flattening of the skull.

How to Incorporate Tummy Time?

  • Start with short sessions initially (3-5 minutes), based on how well your baby adapts to being in this position. As their neck strength increases, these activities will be increasingly more comfortable for them and you can increase the amount of time. The goal is to get babies on their tummies for 50% of their time spent awake.
  • If your baby continues to struggle with Tummy Time, use a bolster under your baby’s arms to prop them up to better interact with their environment.
  • Incorporate Tummy Time into daily activities, such as dressing, play time, feeding, and carrying your baby.
  • Avoid keeping your baby on his/her belly longer than they can comfortably tolerate. If you notice your baby is becoming frustrated or tired, give them a break and try again later.
  • Interact with your baby and encourage reaching in multiple directions.

** Never leave your baby alone during tummy time, and ensure they are awake and interactive. **