Tummy time provides a great opportunity for infants to develop and exercise their large motor skills. Although some infants do not like being put on their tummies, it is important to have this time available, even if in small increments throughout the day. Below are some common questions and answers that may help you as a childcare professional with tummy time.
Question: How do I help an infant that cries every time she is put down on her tummy?
Answer: Not all babies naturally like tummy time.
As you may already know, tummy time is important because the skills learned while on the tummy are essential for later development. Most of the big milestones in the first year of life involve the prone position in one form or another (such as lifting and turning the head, rolling, pushing the chest off the ground, getting up to hands and knees, scooting, crawling). Tummy time also gives the back of baby’s head a break in an effort to prevent flat spots from forming. Tummy time also contributes to the strength and skills needed in the upper body and hands for school-age tasks such as handwriting.
By about 3 months of age, babies should get at least 90 minutes a day of tummy time. Research has shown that, at four months of age, babies who spend at least 80 minutes per day playing on their tummy while awake are able to more successfully reach motor milestones.
Here are some ideas to help get tummy time started:
Question: We understand the importance of tummy time in our center so the infants in our care spend lots of time on their tummies, but how do we help parents understand the importance of tummy time?
Answer: That’s wonderful that you are mindful of making sure that infants get plenty of tummy time while they are in your care.
The best approach with parents is to just leave resources out in the parent sign in area that support tummy time and then leave it to them to make their own choices. You might include an article in the parent newsletter too, about the importance of tummy time. If you use positive communication about tummy time when talking about baby’s day, that will help the parent see it as a positive experience also. For example, on the child’s daily report you could make a note that says “Alex smiled at me while doing tummy time today. He is getting so strong and is starting to lift up on his arms a bit. He even reached for a toy!”
Question: At what age can we introduce tummy time to an infant?
Answer: The key to tummy time is to do it in a safe and pleasing way for the infant no matter what age. The training course also has multiple suggestions for supporting tummy time in many different ways. Here is a link to purchase the training if you are not already enrolled: http://www.cdastars.com/store/p589/Developing_Minds_and_Bodies_Tummy_Time_for_Infants_%E2%80%8B.html
Question: What would be the best sensory toys for tummy time?
Answer: You can use a variety of sensory toys for tummy time, from sensory bottles to black and white contrast cards. Here are links to some of our favorites:
Pinterest is also a wonderful resource for finding new ideas as well.
For more information on Developing Minds and Bodies: Tummy Time for Infants,
register for our one hour course:
Have information to share? Please use the comments section below...