Our Top Tips for Making Tummy Time Easy

Ok Parents, hands up if you find tummy time hard! If you’re reading this not just nodding in agreement, but really looking for a way to make it easier- you are not alone! This is a common frustration that we often hear from parents at FCC. Many mums and dads know tummy time is important but struggle making it happen. There are so many reasons you might find this hard to focus on successfully.

Some parents are worried about the safety of tummy time. Some parents have babies that don’t enjoy it, and other parents just aren’t sure about where and when they should be doing it. These are a few of the concerns that have been shared with us over the years, and we know there are many more.

The truth though? When it really comes down to it tummy time is one of the most important activities you can do with your little one to help their present and future development.

So why on earth is this activity so important? Tummy time assists in developing core stability, upper body strength, visual fields and hand-eye co-ordination. A lack of tummy time has been associated with learning delays and issues with head growth, amongst other things. This developmental step is simply too important to skip over it completely.

The good news is this doesn’t have to be a completely unpleasant experience. Check out our top tips for making tummy time easier below, and let us know how you go in the comments!

Change Position: Tummy time doesn’t have to be in the same place at the same time to be successful. Trying different areas or different times can be help tummy time to run smoothly. This can include on the change table at change time, chest to chest with Mum or Dad or even across your lap or outstretched legs from time to time.

Start as Early as Possible: Tummy time is ideally practiced from as early as possible – even in the first days of life. Starting early will help your little one feel at ease with the activity, while also helping development from the earliest stages. Be mindful that the time spent on tummy time varies depending on age, with time increasing as the child gets older.
It’s suggested that a newborn spends around 5 minutes up to 3 x per day in the tummy down position, while an older baby can spend up to 1-2 hours a day in tummy time at around 4-6 months of age (although this can be taken in shorter bursts throughout the day).

Persevere: Easier said than done. There are many benefits to persisting with tummy time even with a child who does not enjoy it. Of course, you have to be mindful of their overall wellbeing, but in many cases the initial time spent on the tummy can be a little uncomfortable due to being gassy or unstable in the position. Once this has been worked through both, mum and baby can relax a little more and enjoy the benefits.
For the little one that really dislikes it, try out shorter bursts at more frequent intervals.

Keep in mind there are some instances where tummy time can be a challenge because of an underlying concern, and if your little one is consistently uncomfortable in tummy time, this is something that must be assessed. Anything from low tone to reflux and spinal/cranial complaints have the ability to affect a child’s ability to master tummy time and all the developmental steps it can influence.

So – if your tummy time concerns aren’t resolved by some of the simple steps above – then perhaps some individual advice may be needed. That’s why we’re here. Our door is always open to provide you the advice and support to help your family thrive.