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Week 2: Yes, your teeny newborn needs tummy time. But why?

posted 2019 Feb by

(Watch how to position your baby for tummy time)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supervised tummy time for full-term babies starting in the first week, as soon as baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off.

For newborns, success is a minute at a time, 2 to 3 sessions
 per day. If he starts crying, it’s time for a break.

 

Here are some tips for newborn tummy time on the floor:

  • Slowly roll your baby onto his tummy with arms tucked under his shoulders
     
  • Newborns like to have their heads to one side while lying on their bellies, mimicking their position in the womb

  • Offer your baby some High-Contrast Cards to look at while his head is to the side

  • Periodically move your baby so his head rests on the opposite side; head-turning helps avoid flat spots and tight neck muscles


  • As your baby gets stronger, place High-Contrast Cards in front of him so he works to see the images when lifting up his chin 


Some ideas for newborn tummy time on you:

  • Put your baby on your chest facing you, and softly talk to him to try to encourage him to lift his head

  • Put your baby belly-down on your thighs and gently rub his back; show him a High-Contrast Card in his line of vision and slowly move it upward to see if his head moves up

  • Carry your baby football-style on your forearm

If your baby is fussy during a tummy time session, you don’t have to force it. Keep trying short sessions a few times a day. Babies who start tummy time early take to it better later on. The experts all agree: tummy time is essential for building the muscles and coordination needed for rolling over, crawling, walking, reaching, and playing.

You can see Ayesha Curry’s adorable newborn doing tummy time here.