Most babies, as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics are ready for tummy time right after the umbilical cord stump falls off - however, check with your pediatrician to be sure your baby is ready!
There are many benefits of giving your newborn tummy time. Here is the list-
1. Develops head and neck control
2. Strengthens shoulder muscles
3. Enhances motor skills
4. Relieves gas and colic
5. Prevents flat head syndrome
6. Stepping stone to crawling
When to do it ?
It is recommended to do tummy time right after your baby wakes up, so they are well rested and alert, but before a feed so that they do not spit up.
How long ?
Now that you know the benefits, start slow, one minute at a time, two to three times a day. If your baby cries, it is time for a break. Gradually increase the time and frequency of laying your child on their tummy. Experts recommend that babies work up to 1 hour of tummy time a day by 3 months of age.
How to do it ?
Instead of directly placing your baby on their tummy, gently turn them onto their side, with their hand tucked in and then roll them on to their belly. Bend their hands at the elbow to encourage them to lift up their head and eventually their chest too. Oftentimes people give their children tummy time on the bed which is soft and not firm. Tummy time on a harder surface like the floor makes it easier for babies to attempt to roll. Simply place a thin blanket under the baby and you’re set!