It’s Tummy Time!
Many children dislike tummy time at first—it’s hard work! There are many benefits for young children to spend time on their tummy, and there are also many ways to help and encourage them to do so. This critical developmental position helps lay the groundwork for many different skills necessary throughout the lifespan.
Benefits of Tummy Time
- Strengthens your child’s neck so that they can lift their head in order to interact with the world around them.
- Strengthens the arms and core muscles. These muscles are the foundation of many other skills such as rolling, sitting, and reaching.
- Provides sensory input and tactile stimulation to the face, hands, arms, and body which helps with body awareness.
- Stimulates the visual system and promotes eye muscle coordination and control.
- Sustained pressure through the tummy helps with stomach issues such as constipation and gas.
Strategies to Help with Tummy Time
- Place a rolled towel or a small blanket under your child’s arms and chest. Make sure this doesn’t cover your child’s face.
- Perform tummy time over a surface that is inclined, to decrease the work your child will have to do against gravity. This can be on a wedge, the armrest of a couch, or pillow.
Make it Fun!
- Face-to-face contact. Your child loves to look at your face as much as you love looking at theirs! Lay on your tummy in front of your child, or lay/lean on your back and have your child’s tummy on your chest.
- Peak their interest. Placing a mirror or your child’s favorite toy in front of them to encourage them to look up. This is also the perfect time to introduce toys that are new or they haven’t seen in a while.
Remember, sometimes we need to take small steps to make big changes! Staying in this position for a few minutes at a time throughout the day adds up and allows your child to have short, successful, and positive experiences.
Your CRIT therapist will be able to further discuss this position with you, as well as other beneficial positions for your child, upon request.