As a new parent, you're always on the lookout for ways to give your baby the best possible start in life. You've heard about tummy time and how important it is, but you're not exactly sure how long your little one should be doing it each day. Fear not! We've done all the research so that you don't have to. Here's everything you need to know about cracking the code of ideal tummy time duration.
Why tummy time matters
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of tummy time duration, let's take a quick look at why this activity is so crucial for your child's development.
TUMMY TIME is an essential exercise that helps babies develop their muscles and coordination skills. It strengthens their neck, arm, back and stomach muscles which they will use when learning how to crawl and sit up (1). Also encourages head control development by helping them learn self-reliance as early as possible(2).
Several studies have shown that infants who regularly engage in TUMMY TIME ACTIVITIES are significantly less likely to experience delays or developmental issues later on (3)!
How much tummy time does my baby need?
Now onto the big question: just how much daily dose of fun-filled exercise should your precious bundle be getting?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting with THREE TO FIVE MINUTES OF TUMMY TIME PER DAY FOR INFANTS 0-3 MONTHS OLD, working gradually up until 20 minutes by six months old(4).
But don't panic if your infant doesn’t seem thrilled during those first few weeks – crying also serves as excellent excercise(for now) 😉
Once they get used to it and gain more strength , add another minute every week.. Keep in mind - there’s no magic recipe for every child to hit that full 20 minutes, so start slowly and build up (5).
Here's a helpful chart to show you how long your little one should be doing tummy time each day:
|0-3 months||3-5 mins|
|3-6 months||15-20 mins|
Tips to get started
Now that you know how much tummy time your baby needs, here are some tips to make the experience as positive as possible:
1. Start from when they’re awake
Tummy time IS NOT MEANT TO REPLACE NAP TIME OR BEDTIME, so it’s best to do it whenever they're awake and alert. Can start with short periods whilst changing diapers or after washing their face(6).
2. Provide support
Your newborn might not be strong enough at first to prop themselves on her arms or lift her head independently, try using rolled towels or small folded blankets underneath their chest area will provide essential support and comfort(7)
3. Be involved: Give them company
You can even get down on the floor with your little one – It helps bondings more closely whilst relaxing him/her into doing more exercise activities!!
4. Make sure environment is secure/safe & comfortable!!
Be sure there are no sharp objects close by within reach - putting them in a safe room (free of hazards) often works wonders!. Also remember Any soft bedding AND sleeping position restrictions like side-sleeping can increase SIDS risk if child falls asleep http://www.pediatrixmd.com/newborn-care/it%E2%80%99s-great-time-spend-tummy-time-newborn-babyhttps://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/better-premature-babies-brains/html)
5. Gradually increase the time
Start with just a few minutes of tummy time and gradually work your way up to 20 minutes per day by the six-month mark(8).
What if my baby hates tummy time?
It's not uncommon for babies to fuss or even cry during tummy time at first, that doesn't mean all hope is lost! Here are a few ideas you can try:
1. Shorten it—start small!
Try starting them off doing TUMMY TIME FOR ABOUT A MINUTE, building up gradually as s/he gains strength and comfort levels.
2. Increase floor contact outside Tummy Time activities:
Lay down face to face with them OR while changing their diapers/place towel underneath whenever possible.
3. Add toys or objects within reach if they’re easily distracted/cranky!:
Babies love new things!! You may want to shower 'em some TLC by showing different shapes, colours and sound producing toys purely https://www.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu/studentHealthServices/documents/pdfs/TUMMYTIME.pdf
Finally do remember THE MORE FUN YOU HAVE WITH YOUR BABY DURING TUMMY TIME, THE LESS LIKELY THEY ARE TO REFUSE IT!!
Progressing over months
Your little one will continue growing (and getting stronger) each month – which means adjusting their exercise needs accordingly!!
During the first few weeks of life, focus on awake-but-happy times when you are around:
Providing an environment-free distractions from things other than your encouraging voice sang in softer tones & facial expressions!
Reservations about putting baby on his belly too early based on concerns about SIDs does exist in lotsa cultures— Just make sure they're closely supervised + there aren't plenty of sharp objects nearby http://www.pediatrixmd.com/newborn-care/it%E2%80%99s-great-time-spend-tummy-time-newborn-baby
In the second month, she may find it easier to lift her head and begin pushing up against the floor with their feet like a mini plankercise 'prodigy'.
Also usually the stage where you should leave ‘em belly-down only for about 5 MINS, THRICE DAILY!
By three months old your little one will have grown exponentially with more skills at exercising.
You can increase tummy time duration by up to TEN MINUTES PER SESSION, TRYING OUT TUMMY TIME IN DIFFERENT POSITIONS (sideways) OR ADDING TOYS IN FRONT OF THEM(9).
Conclusion: GAME PLAN !!!
Now that we've covered tummy time in detail. Let's sum(10)Marize everything..
• Start slow - remember every baby&s age/physical condition is diff.
• Build gradually over weeks using tools such as pillows or towels during early days- This helps support baby adequately til they develop those muscles!.
• Make sure environment is safe & distraction-free—so not just any other place!
And there you have it – all the information needed to crack ideal tummy time duration!! Give your growing child plenty of opportunities to practice lifting his/her own head while resting on their stomach!!
Before closing out here&aposs another popular suggestion often facilitated via Dad/mum made music videos.
After watching this video below see if kids doze off after achieving extensive exercise routines enough 😉 Have fun!!