To help lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a healthy baby should be placed on his back to sleep. HOWEVER it is also very important for a baby to have time while awake on his tummy.
Tummy time is important for your baby’s healthy development. You can put your baby on a firm and flat, but comfortable surface, such as your lap, the crib, carpeted floor, or baby mat. Whatever works for you. It is important however to give baby room every day to practice on a large surface where he can eventually learn to roll over and crawl.
Your baby requires daily supervised tummy time for:
- preventing flat head (plagiocephaly)
- making the neck, back and arm muscles stronger
- developing strong facial and jaw muscles needed to feed well
- learning to roll and crawl
- supporting overall development
Some babies love tummy time while others do not. If your baby does not like this, there is no need to make him stay here for long.
- Start tummy time as soon as baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off. Try starting two or three times a day for a few minutes and adding on as baby tolerates. Adjust as needed for your baby but keep trying if he doesn’t like it and fusses.
- Massage baby and talk to him.
- Get down on the floor with the baby so he can see your face
- Let him have interesting things to look at like a mirror or bright coloured toys
- For the newer baby, you can roll a receiving blanket and place under the chest at armpit level to help support the torso
- NEVER leave your baby unattended