Tummy Time Tools, presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, provides parents with ideas and activities to make sure your baby gets enough time on their tummy throughout the day, while awake and supervised. These activities include handling, carrying, diapering, positioning, feeding, and playing with your baby. Increasing the amount of time your baby lies on his 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
- Helps build the muscles your baby needs to roll, sit, and crawl
Tummy Time is important because of the vast amount of time babies spend on their backs. The combination of back-sleeping both night and day creates pressure on the babies head, leading to flattening of the skull. Flattening can be made worse by a condition called Torticollis – a single muscle or group of muscles that are tight or weak on one side of the neck, causing a baby to tilt or turn to one side. The muscle fibers can shorten because of continued resting in one position.
Now, It’s important to note that not all babies have tightness in their necks, and many have well shaped heads. But, all babies can benefit form tummy time activities. Some babies may require exercises to stretch and strengthen tight or weak muscles due to Torticollis, these can be given under the care of your doctor or physical therapist. Regardless, tummy time activities can bring you and your baby closer together. Download and read the full brochure: Tummy Time Tools , it’s full of activities for tummy time as well as ways to incorporate it into your daily life!
Coulter-O’Berry, P.T., M.S., P.C.S., Colleen, and Dulcey Lima, C.O., O.T.R./L. “Tummy Time Tools.” Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. N.p., 2007. Web. 23 June 2016.