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Tummy Time for Your Baby

(soothing music)

- Hi, I am Corwin Sutherin, Pedatric Occupational Therapist

at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Today, I'm gonna be talking about tummy time for your baby.

And this is my friend, Briggs who's five months old.

So what is tummy time?

The simplest way to say it is,

tummy time is when your baby's flat

on their tummy on supported surface,

either on your lap or on the floor on a blanket.

Tummy time is always supervised.

So when your baby's awake, and when they're engaging

in an activity such as playing.

Tummy time is not leaving your baby alone on their tummy

or letting them sleep alone on their tummy,

it is always supervised.

So, why is tummy time so important?

There is a couple reasons.

One reason is babies are getting less time

on their tummies for safety.

Back in the early 1990's, the American Academy of Pediatrics

made the recommendations that babies when they're sleeping,

to be on their back, which is proven to be successful

to decrease sudden infant death syndrome.

And the second reason is, because infant car seats are

made as carriers.

And so babies are spending more time in carriers

and less time on their tummies.

So, some of the benefits of tummy time.

Tummy time helps with muscle development,

when baby's on their tummy it helps strengthen

their shoulder muscles and their neck muscles.

It also helps prevent some of the flat spots that

sometimes babies can get on the back of their head.

Tummy time helps build those early muscles that are

needed when baby starts to roll,

when they're starting to sit,

and when they're starting to crawl.

Research has shown that babies that have just

20 to 30 minutes of tummy time

that they score better on motor tests.

So Briggs and I are gonna show ya how to do some tummy time.

Right on his tummy.

So Briggs is on his tummy.

Tummy time helps with neck development, shoulder development

as he's lifting his head.

Okay.

Right there.

Good.

Grab some toys that he can look at to interact with.

It also helps with the early movements of rolling, sitting

and even crawling.

As he's pushing, moving his legs as he's pushing

against gravity, building those muscles.

There we go.

Good job.

So another position is, your baby can be flat on your lap,

to develop those same muscles.

Or it can be on your chest,

while you are reclined backwards.

So, tummy time is important to be a positive time

for baby so you can start off with three to six minutes

and build up to 30 to 60 minutes

and remember that it's suppose to be a positive time,

if baby is getting upset, give him a break.

It's tummy time and not torture time.

If your baby is struggling with tummy time,

if they're not lifting their head around four to five

months, then I recommend contacting your pediatrician.