*Adams SM, Good MW, Defranco GM. (2009). Sudden infant death syndrome. Am Fam Physician., 15:79(10), 870-4.
*Jennings JT, Sarbaugh BG, Payne NS. (2005) Conveying the message about optimal infant positions. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr., 25(3), 3-18.
*Kennedy E, Majnemer A, Farmer JP, Barr RG, Platt RW. (2009). Motor development of infants with positional plagiocephaly. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr., 29(3), 222-35.
*Majnemer A, Barr RG. (2005). Influence of supine sleep positioning on early motor milestone acquisition. Dev Med Child Neurol., 47(6), 370-6.
*van Vlimmeren LA, van der Graaf Y, Boere-Boonekamp MM, L'Hoir MP, Helders PJ, Engelbert RH. (2007). Risk factors for deformational plagiocephaly at birth and at 7 weeks of age: a prospective cohort study. Pediatrics., 119(2), e408-18.


When do I start TUMMY TIME?

  • The earlier the better, but it is never too late to begin. 
  • Start TUMMY TIME as early as a baby's belly button is healed, as long as there are no medical factors preventing this. 
  • The earlier a child is exposed to TUMMY TIME the better it is tolerated.  

How often should I offer TUMMY TIME?

  • TUMMY TIME should be offered daily
  • Start slow and gently push baby's tolerance, build on time as tolerated 
  • Substitute a shorter duration of time and more frequent positioning: For example starting with 3 minutes 3-5 times a day*
  • The more you do TUMMY TIME the easier it will get for everyone
  • Ideally an hour total tummy time per day by 4 months

How do I make TUMMY TIME more comfortable?

  • Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal, to avoid spitting up
  • Start with belly to belly TUMMY TIME for bonding and baby's comfort; this is especially good for young infants
  • Roll a hand towel or receiving blanket to support under baby's chest, making sure the roll is not too big, shoulders should remain over elbows
  • Try a gentle back massage: sweep from upper to lower back slowly with firm pressure and alternating open hands
  • Face to face TUMMY TIME is great because babies love to look at faces, especially of their parents, siblings, and other babies
  • Try carrying baby tummy down over your arm, as a fun alternative to floor TUMMY TIME
  • Try an exercise ball to add some movement, but be sure to hold on tight because babies wiggle 

Supervised waking TUMMY TIME is important to infant development. Research supports an increase in developmental delays among back sleepers who received little or no waking “tummy time”*. Back to sleep is important in the prevention of SIDS*, but supervised waking TUMMY TIME is important in the prevention of developmental delays & may also contribute to SIDS prevention.
  • Activity Mats: many are designed with TUMY TIME in mind, choose one with a lot of play interest when baby is on their tummy, not just on their backs
  • Infant Mirrors: babies love to look at themselves
  • Baby Face Books: babies love to look at other babies
  • Large Colorful Books: help keep babies interest & block distractions
  • Larger Toys: prevent baby from rolling to their back to play with them
  • Angled Activity Tables: click to remove two table legs and enjoy the versatility of this toy for younger children
  • Musical Toys: help distract baby from their hard work

Why is Supervised Waking TUMMY TIME so important?

  • Neck Muscles 
  • Shoulder, Arm & Hand Muscles
  • Tummy & Back Muscles 
  • Diaphragm (breathing muscle) 

  • Strengthening muscles for future motor, vision & speech development.
  • TUMMY TIME is the precursor to good muscle balance & crawling 
  • TUMMY TIME improves motor scores*

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Last updated 2016