Tummy time is an important part of your little one’s development. It allows them to explore their environment in a different position, it allows them to build their head, neck and trunk strength and is a stepping stone into movements such as rolling, transitions to sitting and crawling.

So how much is too much? What to do you do if they absolutely hate being on their tummies? What are some things that can be concerning in tummy time?
Tummy time is safe to start from birth. The recommended guidelines for tummy time is 30mins every day. No, that doesn’t mean 30 straight minutes in a row. It can be little bursts of 2-5mins multiple times throughout the day. Remember tummy time is hard work for your little one. Their head is much larger and heavier compared to their neck and trunk muscles. It is much harder for them to maintain their head position especially in the early few months. However, if your little one is showing little improvement in their time to tolerate tummy time, a GP review may be beneficial to find out why.
If they’re consistent in tummy time their muscles should grow and strengthen with them. Tummy time isn’t just when they’re on their bellies either. You can play around with the positions so that their bodies gain experience and growth in a range of positions. Tummy time can be on your chest, on a mat, on your thighs, over your legs, supported on your forearm. You can get creative as long as you’re creating an opportunity where they must lift their head to look at their environment.

When to be concerned in tummy time is when you may notice

– If they are only looking in one direction

– If they are unable to lift their head off the mat for any period of time

– If they are not improving in tummy time after 6-8 weeks

– If they feel stiff or very floppy

– If you notice a misshapen head

– If they are not moving both sides of their body

These are signs it may be beneficial to seek assistance from either a GP or a physiotherapist who works in paediatrics to assess your little one. The Royal Children’s Hospital have a range of pictures to show the different ways to incorporate tummy time into your everyday routine. The link will be provided below. If you are concerned about your little one in tummy time or unsure about how and if you are doing it correctly reach out to the physios at Bump Fitness for an assessment today. We are trained to assess and treat a variety of paediatric conditions including difficulties in tummy time.