Tummy Time

Tummy Time Tools
Help Build Your Baby's Muscles

Tummy Time Tools helps you make sure your baby gets enough time on his tummy each day. This is done through activities such as handling, carrying, diapering, positioning, feeding and playing with your baby.

All of these should take place while your baby is awake and supervised. Having your baby spend time on his tummy is a good thing.

Download a printer-friendly copy of Tummy Time Tools

Tummy Time helps:

  • Develop the muscles in his neck and shoulders.
  • Prevent tight neck muscles and the development of flat areas on the back of your baby’s head.
  • Build the muscles your baby needs to roll, sit and crawl.

Why do babies need Tummy Time?

Babies need tummy time because they spend a lot of time on their backs. This is because:

  • Most parents put their babies on their backs while they sleep.
  • A lot of parents use baby carriers that double as car seats and carriers.
  • This combination of sleeping on the back at night and having pressure on your baby’s head during the day can cause a flattening of the skull.
  • These flat areas develop on the back of the head and on the forehead. This is called plagiocephaly.
  • This flattening may be made worse by a condition called torticollis. This is when there is a single muscle or group of muscles that are tight or weak on one side of the neck. This causes your baby to tilt or turn to one side. The muscle fibers can shorten when your baby rests in one position for long periods of time.

It is important that your baby be put on his back to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics says this helps prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

It is also important to your baby’s development that he get supervised tummy time and be put in different positions during the day.

Tummy Time ToolsTummy time is:

  • Any activity that keeps your baby from lying flat in one position against a hard, supporting surface
  • Anytime you carry, position or play with your baby while he is on his belly

Tummy time can:

  • Help babies of all ages.
  • Be fun.
  • Be easy or challenging for your baby.
  • Change as your baby grows and gets stronger.
  • Be a great time to bond with your baby.

Always stay with your baby during his tummy time. Do not leave him alone on his tummy.

Access more Tummy Time resources.