The Importance of Tummy Time

As a new parent, you’ve probably heard the term “tummy time” and been told it is an important part of your baby’s development. But why is tummy time so important and how do you go about providing tummy time to your infant? 

What is Tummy Time?

Tummy time is when a baby is laid on their belly while awake so they can practice holding up their head, looking side to side and supporting weight on their arms.

Why is Tummy Time Important?

Tummy time helps your baby build strength in his neck, shoulders, arms and trunk. This will help him learn to roll, sit and crawl.  Belly time while he is awake also helps him maintain a round head shape. Babies need tummy time throughout the day when they are awake because they are spending more and more time on their backs. This is in part due to the American Academy of Pediatrics Back to Sleep program which was put in place to decrease the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by encouraging parents to put their babies on their backs to sleep.  Additionally, there has been a marked increase in the use of positioning devices to contain baby throughout the day.  

Tummy Time Tips

  1. Start slowly. Place your baby on his/ her belly for 1 to 2 minutes. You can do this several times a day. Slowly increase the length of time your baby is on their belly – with the end goal being 10-15 minute sessions. By 4 months of age, your child will be able to tolerate being on their belly for 60-90 minutes each day!
  2. Consider placing your baby over a Boppy Pillow or a rolled up towel under your baby’s chest from armpit to armpit. Adding a towel will make it easier for baby to lift their head and push up. You can also help by placing your hands under baby’s chest and lifting gently to help him/her push up.
  3. Does your child have a favorite toy? Give it to him/her to play with during tummy time. This will help your baby learn to reach. Prop baby’s elbows under his shoulders to help him/her practice bearing weight while reaching.
  4. Consider propping a mirror up in front of your baby during tummy time.
  5. Get down on the floor with baby, face-to-face. Talk and sing to baby. This is a great time to bond with baby!
  6. Tummy time doesn’t have to be done on the floor!
    1. Try laying baby on your chest while you lie flat on your back. Being able to look up and see mom or dad can be much more enjoyable for your child.
    2. Lay baby across your lap while you are seated in a chair or on the couch.
    3. Carry your baby tummy side down like a football as you move from place to place in your home.

Not all babies like tummy time, but DON’T GIVE UP!  Tummy time can be a wonderful time to bond with baby and baby will learn to tolerate and even enjoy this time as they get stronger! 

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An 8-week program for children age 3-5 with sensory processing differences

Children with sensory processing differences have difficulty with regulation, which sometimes makes it difficult for them to interact with the world around them. Our Sensory Explorers group targets regulation in order to build engagement! This group is led by pediatric occupational therapist Mackenzie Baldock and developmental therapist/PLAY Project Consultant Brenna Thompson, both of whom specialize in using developmentally appropriate strategies to support children so they can learn new skills. Group meets once/week for 60 minutes.

Wondering if this class is appropriate for your child? Some characteristics of kids who benefit: easily frustrated with play, repetitive play, difficulty sitting/keeping still to engage in play, refuses to allow others to engage in play, unable to be messy, overly busy, quickly overwhelmed in a busy environment, picky eater, difficulty tolerating grooming/dressing/diapering routines, struggles with transitions/following a group plan/routine. 

Goals of the group include:

  • Child participating in a variety of sensory play activities
  • Engaging socially with others in the group
  • Providing a non threatening environment where children can experience new sensations with the support of a pediatric Occupational Therapist and PLAY Project consultant
  • Providing personalized resources to caregivers, so they better understand the sensory system and learn strategies to assist their child with regulation outside of group
  • Opportunity to meet with other local families
 
 

Group begins with a 30 minute Open House on Tuesday October 4 for your child & caregiver/family to attend. This provides an opportunity to meet the therapists, acclimate your child to the space and provide some initial information about your child’s responses to a variety of sensory activities. 30 minute sessions will be offered from 12:30-4:30 on 10/4 with sign up sent with registration.

 

GROUP MEETS for 6 weeks October 11-November 15: Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 OR Tuesdays 3:30-4:30. ***We ask that families who are able remain flexible on the time slot so we can effectively pair your child with others that they will gain the maximum benefit from for social interactions!** Caregivers are encouraged to stay to support their child and learn helpful strategies, however other options will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Caregiver education is a key component of this program. Make-up date in case of class cancellation: 11/22/22

 

Group ends with a 15-30 minute Zoom wrap up session with caregiver(s) on November 29th. Every participant will receive a short, personalized Session Summary report complete with suggestions/recommendations for helpful sensory supports in the child’s home/classroom/community.