- 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.
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.
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.