We’ve all heard of it, and we all know that many babies hate it. As frustrating as it may be, tummy time is essential for infant development.
Babies spend a lot of time on their backs and if a baby spends too much time lying on their back they can end up with a delay in motor development and a flat or misshapen head (known as brachiocephaly/ plagiocephaly). When a baby spends time on their tummy, they’re able to practice things like lifting their head against gravity, bearing weight on their arms, moving from side to side and gaining strength in the muscles of their upper body.
All of this movement helps to prepare your baby for gross motor milestones like rolling over, sitting, and walking.
The next question you might ask is ‘How much tummy time should my baby be doing every day?’
The amount of tummy time a baby should be doing varies depending on age:
Newborns: 3-5 minutes of tummy time 2-3 times per day.
Once your baby starts to show a liking for tummy time, you can increase the amount until he or she starts to show signs that they’ve had enough.
3-4 months old: at least 20-30 minutes of tummy time every day. Bear in mind, this is the minimum recommended amount – try to spend as much waking time as possible doing tummy time.