Newborn Tummy Time
by Nicole Campbell, DPT
Kids Place West Pediatric Physical Therapist

As a new mother to a beautiful baby boy born January 9, I understand the difficulties parents have incorporating tummy time at the home. If you have not already heard by now, tummy time is very important for your child’s development, even a newborn. Here are some tips and tricks that have worked for me to help increase the amount of time Tyler spends on his tummy while he is a newborn:

Lay with baby on your chest.

I like to sit in my recliner chair to nurse Tyler. Once he is finished, I burp him while heis laying on his tummy on my chest. Once Tyler is finished burping, we tend to stay in this position. If Tyler is still awake, I will read a book out loud to him (currently I’m reading “As You Wish” by Cary Elwes since “The Princess Bride” is one of my favorite movies). If Tyler has fallen asleep, I will watch Netflix.

**Pro Tip: this is also a really good position for family and friends to hold baby when they visit**

Tummy time in a safe area while mom/dad completes chores in the same room.

I don’t know about you, but I still have chores around the house. With two dogs, it is more difficult to place Tyler down on a soft surface while keeping an eye on him. Therefore, I set up a “Pack and Play” in my master bathroom so I can shower while still being able to see Tyler. I also set up a “Play Yard” in my kitchen/living room space so Tyler can have tummy time while I’m cooking or folding laundry.

**Pro Tip: I bought a mirror to entertain and encourage Tyler to lift his head while on his tummy**

Tyler’s strength and head control is improving. However, just because he is the son of a pediatric physical therapy does not make him immune to the frustration of being on his tummy. Tyler does sometimes cry on his tummy. When that happens, I will let him struggle for a couple minutes before helping him roll off his tummy onto his back. I try and always have Tyler practice rolling like this so that he starts to learn that how to roll on his own without my help.

Every situation is different, so if you have any questions/concerns, please speak with your pediatrician or one of our talented pediatric therapists at Kids Place.