Tummy Time


I know tummy time is important for infants, but my daughter gets very frustrated when on her tummy for more than about 10 minutes. What can I do?

Dr. Greene's Answer

The latest recommendations are for kids to get at least 30 minutes of age-appropriate physical activity per day throughout childhood, and for babies this means tummy time. For infants, tummy time helps to decrease baby’s risk of skull deformities, promotes gross motor development, and strengthens back and neck muscles. Start with short episodes multiple times per day…eventually your baby will be able to tolerate longer periods.

There are ways to make it more fun. For example, rolling up a small towel and placing it under her chest can get her head up higher so she can see and do more. Also, try getting on your tummy in front of her. You can also lay your baby across your lap when burping her, or position her face down on your arm when you are carrying her. You can also spend time “tummy to tummy”, by placing your baby belly down on your belly or chest. Music often helps, as well, and tummy time on a bed is sometimes more fun than on the floor, assuming you are careful. Once she is strong enough to roll over, this will not be an issue.

April 24, 2008
Published on: January 27, 2003
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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