TUMMY TIME DEFINED
Tummy time, quite simply, is the number of minutes that baby spends daily in the position where her stomach touches the floor and her back is up toward the ceiling. It is important that tummy time is supervised since newborns are learning to lift and turn their head. Recently, parents were encouraged to put their babies on their backs to sleep instead of on their stomachs as a national campaign called “Back to Sleep.” The goal was to reduce the incidents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Now, however, many infants are left on their backs exclusively or for too long leading to flattened heads and reduced motor skills. Research shows that babies put on their stomachs for regularly supervised tummy time excel in motor skill development over those left primarily on their backs. Thus, pediatricians started encouraging daily supervised tummy time, both reducing the incidents of SIDS and fostering motor skill development.
TUMMY TIME BENEFITS
Tummy time stretches the muscles of the abdomen, chest, and front of the hips which have been tightly contracted while in the womb. It strengthens the muscles of the head, neck, back, and arms as baby learns to lift and turn her head while lying on her stomach. It provides a new orientation in space compared with lying on her back and looking up at the world. It serves as the foundation for the next motor skill development: rolling. It will be much easier for baby to roll onto her stomach if she is comfortable and familiar with this position. Tummy time is one of the earliest and most important milestones in the development of a baby, and stellar caterpillar tips will help light the way.