The Importance of Tummy Time for Babies

Jane Gleasure
Child Development

According to the National Day Nurseries Association recent research has shown that 19% of mothers with children under six-months-old never put their babies on their fronts to play.

Babies need time spent on their tummies it helps them to develop their back and neck muscles needed for future movement. Babies who are laid on their backs all day do not get a chance to develop these crucial muscles in the same way.

Regular tummy time works to increase babies' movement skills and confidence needed for crawling and also helps to develop their coordination and balance and babies that engage in regular time  on their front each day are generally able to roll, crawl, sit, stand and walk earlier than babies that do not.

Introducing tummy time to your baby:

As recommended by the NDNA we engage our babies at nursery in daily tummy time. Here are a few tips on how you can encourage this further at home with your baby.

  • Lay your baby on their tummy on the floor (on a mat or towel)
  • Lie in front of them to ensure they can see you and that they enjoy the experience
  • Encourage your baby to look at you
  • Talk to your baby and play with them
  • Place interesting objects just out of reach so they have to stretch to get them
  • Introduce new objects so your baby stays interested and has fun, such as books, mirrors, rattles. Note that if a baby is not interested or curious then they will become upset and will not be exercising the muscles that you want them to.
  • As the baby grows put things out of sight so your baby will have to roll over to reach them.