Baby Q&A: Tummy Time Newborn (What Age To Start?)

Are you all excited to start your baby on tummy time?

Have you heard a lot about tummy time but are not sure what it means and how to do it?

Do you want to know how tummy time can help your newborn?

If you have a newborn at home, you probably need to start him or her on tummy time. Today we tell you all about this very important growth and development aspect for your little one. From what it means to have a tummy time for your newborn to what all benefits it has, how you can help your newborn do it, for how long to do it and some of the very important safety tips that you need to keep in mind while doing so, if these are the things you are looking for, then do read on.

What is tummy time?

Tummy time refers to the amount of time that you place your newborn or baby on their tummy. This is done when your newborn is awake and doing this at the time of sleep does not count.

Why is it done? How can babies benefit?

There are many benefits of doing tummy time for your baby and here are some of the most common and effective ones.

 how old for tummy time
  • Helps to prevent a flat spot on the head: When you start putting your baby in tummy time mode as often as it is recommended, this will also help to prevent any issues about a flat head syndrome. This usually happens in newborns because they are always lying down on their backs. As their bones are too soft, lying in the same position for long can make the soft part of the head take a flat shape, and the newborn can grow up with a flat shaped head, instead of a properly rounded one.
  • Helps to strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles: Placing your baby on his or her tummy can help to make the shoulder and neck muscles strong. This will help your newborn to hold their head better and will also help to make the head more stable.
  • Prepares baby for rolling, sitting up, crawling and more: As your baby starts developing more strength in the neck and shoulder muscles, it also becomes easier for your baby to start balancing on the upper arms. As a result, your newborn gets more prepared to start rolling over, to try and start sit up, to crawl and walk, all in the time that is usually recommended by paediatricians.
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    Can prevent gas pain and colic: Placing a newborn on tummy time is also a great way to prevent colic. When air gets trap inside the baby’s tummy, it leads to severe pain and as a result, babies start getting colic and cry. When you place the newborn on the tummy, it helps to release any gas that is trapped in the body, and as a result prevents colic and associated crying.

Can tummy time be done with newborns? How soon after birth can babies start tummy time?

If you are wondering how old for tummy time your newborn has to be, and whether or not you can do it soon after your baby is born, the answer is that there is no exact time or age that is prescribed to start tummy time with your newborn.

When to introduce tummy time to your newborn can depend on a number of factors and can also easily vary from baby to baby. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

 when to introduce tummy time
  • Most paediatrics suggest that you start an early introduction for tummy time to your newborn.
  • If the newborn is born at full term and if there are no health issues at all, you can start tummy time as early as the day that you bring baby back home from the hospital.

How long can newborns stay in this position?

The amount of time you place your baby on the tummy will depend on your baby’s age. If you are wondering when do babies need tummy time and how, you can start off by following a routine that is something like what is mentioned below:

  • Initially, when your baby is still a newborn, you can start by giving two or three sessions of tummy time each day. Make sure that each session lasts no more than three to five minutes.
  • It is also important that you keep enough time between both the sessions, so that your newborn does not feel tired or does not get hurt.
  • If your newborn is not very happy with it, you can give it a break and do something else that makes your little one happy. Once your newborn is back to being cheerful again, you can try with a session of tummy time.
 when do babies need tummy time

At what age can you start increasing the length of time a baby spends doing tummy time?

Once you have placed your newborn in the tummy time sessions for three to five minutes each session for two to three times a day, you can gradually increase the amount of time that your baby spends on the tummy. Also, before you make a change in your baby’s tummy time routine, make sure that you first check your baby’s reaction and comfort level and only then extend the amount of time.

tummy time newborn what age to start
  • On a daily basis, as your newborn is a few months old, say about three to four months old, you can then gradually extend the tummy time to what it was when your baby was a newborn.
  • You can first start by maintaining the same amount of time for each session, which is between two to three minutes, but slowly increase the number of sessions from maybe four to five a day.
  • First, see how your baby responds to this change and see if it is making your baby stressed out or too tired. If it is making your baby uncomfortable or if your baby is crying and just does not want to do it, give it a break.
  • Once your baby gets a little more comfortable, you can gradually increase the amount of tummy time each day between 20 to 30 minutes.
  • You can continue with this much of tummy time for each day till the time your baby is about six or seven months of age.
  • This is also a great exercise to continue till your baby can actually start to roll over on their own.

3 Super Essential Tummy Time Safety Tips

Tummy time is an important daily exercise for your newborn and has many benefits. Make sure that while doing the same, you take care of the following safety tips to ensure your baby is safe and healthy.

  • 1
    Leave a good amount of gap, at least half an hour between your baby’s feeding time and tummy time.
  • 2
    Clear out the surface and place a mat on a stable surface where you can place baby for tummy time.
  • 3
    Make sure that a parent or a grown-up and responsible caregiver is present at all times right next to the baby during tummy time.

You can take cues from your newborn to see when to continue with it and when to give your little one a rest.

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