Infants benefit from tummy time starting at a very early age.
They can be ready for tummy time immediately but definitely by two weeks or once their umbilical cord stump falls off. The average newborn should get at least 30 minutes of cumulative tummy time a day. Short bursts like one to three minutes at a time may be all your baby can tolerate early on. But as the baby gets stronger the tummy time will also get longer.
Listening and watching your baby cues will help you to know what is right for them. Kicking, grunts, and squirming are common sounds a baby may make during tummy time. Crying and signs of frustration should be avoided by reducing the amount of time in tummy time.
Tummy time is critical to strengthen the baby’s neck and core. It encourages them to look around and engage with their environment differently. They can reach for close-by objects, learn how to scoot and roll over. Get down on the floor with them and play. Make a game out of tummy time with face-to-face play, singing to them, or even exercising. Research has shown increased tummy time equates with better motor skills and social development.
Enjoy your tummy time!