Skip Nav
Forget That Pregnancy Glow — This Photographer Captures Real-Life Maternity Photos
The 11 Backhanded Compliments That All Moms Are Seriously Sick of Hearing
15 Back-to-School Traditions You Should Start With Your Kids This Year

Tummy Time Benefits

Baby Wellness: Get Down on Those Tummies!

At one of my daughter's earliest doctor appointments, her pediatrician told me to keep her on her belly for tummy time whenever she was awake. I was in disbelief as my tot hated being on her stomach. The doc said it was important for her development and that the babe would eventually get used to it and may even enjoy it.

I'm glad we listened to her and powered through the initial days of tummy-time agony. The American Physical Therapy Association recently issued a warning telling parents that time spent on the stomach is not only beneficial for the skull's formation, but it also allows the baby's neck and shoulder muscles to develop in a timely manner. Physical therapist Colleen Coulter-O'Berry advises parents:

Increasing the amount of time your baby lies on his or her tummy promotes muscle development in the neck and shoulders; helps prevent tight neck muscles, and the development of flat areas on the back of the baby's head; and helps build the muscles baby needs to roll, sit, and crawl. . . Don't be afraid to put your baby on their tummy for short periods of time while they are awake. After a nap, diaper change or feeding, roll the baby onto his or her stomach, and encourage the infant to find, focus, and follow your face or a toy with their eyes looking up.

Did you practice tummy time with your tot?

Join The Conversation
macgirl macgirl 8 years
He hated it so much. I think he forgot he disliked it once he could roll over and got a bit mobile. He is trying so hard to crawl and manages to get all over the place in a blink of an eye. I fear I have a real table sweeper on my hands.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 9 years
our lil guy HATED it at first also... he wanted no part of it, but we kept trying. i wish we would have known to try it RIGHT off the bat... like when we first brought him home... i think if we would have introduced it earlier it might have helped. he DID get it tho... but by the time he got it, he was sitting up and preferred that. schnappy... dont worry he'll crawl... we had help w/some early intervention pt w/our lil guy (for something unrelated) and she suggested we help him w/the crawling concept by getting him in position... so i'd get behind him, prop him up onto all fours and we'd rock rock him a lil back and forth so he'd get the feel & we made it a game... he started doing it on his own after a few times...
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Schnappy, both my sons who hated tummy time ended up crawling on schedule, which was around 8-10 months. :) I wouldn't worry. My kids all could also hold their head up really well almost right away so the doctor wasn't at all worried about forcing tummy time for that either.
lorioz lorioz 9 years
My daughter is three and a half months old and loves her tummy time, she is always rolling onto her tummy to play. She has got great neck, shoulder and back strength now. I'm so glad that she enjoys it!
honey693 honey693 9 years
I've heard putting them in slings works to. If you use the front hold position they use the same group of muscles they would during tummy time. I plan on doing this if my baby hates tummy time.
macneil macneil 9 years
My daughter hated it but then one day just sort of got it. I'm glad I forced her, it's just one less thing to worry about. But it felt mean at the time.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
My son HATED it (and still does at 7 months). To this day, he practically refuses to roll to his tummy and once on his tummy immediately flips back over. It's been nearly impossible to get him to do any tummy time at all. At this rate, I doubt he'll ever crawl (he's shown no interest). Sigh.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
My boys hated it to the point of it being useless because they wouldn't do anything that would result in muscle development. We laid them on our chests and things like that, and they were never behind in development. Our ped recommended it but didn't require it if the child hated it. He agreed that it didn't do any good to force it. My daughter has loved floor time all along, so that's been easy.
Forgotten Baby Syndrome and Hot Car Deaths
Stillborn Baby Photos
Peach Butt Trend
How Does Meditation Fit In With HIIT?
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds