Baby Care,  Motherhood

When can you start tummy time with a newborn

Top Tips To Help Your Baby Get Comfortable On His Belly


Since 1992, APP has been advising parents against placing their babies on their tummies to sleep. Numerous research points to the fact that this helps reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Hence, for parents to hear that tummy time is very important for their baby’s development may sound strange. The fact remains, that tummy time, as strange as it sounds, helps develop the baby’s neck.  Tummy time also helps build strength in the baby’s upper body.

So, what exactly is tummy time?

Tummy time is the supervised time that your baby spends on his/her time while awake. Please note that tummy time is often done when the baby is awake. Most infants do not enjoy tummy time, however, regardless of how important it is.

Maybe you’ve already tried getting in some tummy time with your baby and you’re having trouble. Only one minute on her tummy and your baby is screaming her lungs out. What can you do to make tummy time more fun and comfortable for the baby? We’ll answer that later.  But first, let’s discuss when should you start tummy time.

When can you start tummy time with a newborn?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should start tummy time as early as possible. Meaning, babies with no health issues can start tummy time as soon as their first day home from the hospital.

When You Should Do Tummy Time?

Maybe your baby may be experiencing discomfort from lying on her tummy due to a couple of factors. To lower these factors, you have to ensure that you time it right.

You should avoid placing your baby on her tummy when she’s hungry. However, do not place baby on her tummy after you’ve just fed her as this will be extremely uncomfortable and might make her vomit. Always wait at least an hour after feeding time, which will hence lower spit-ups as well.

Keep in mind that tummy time is likely to go well if the baby is not tired or sleepy. Another great tip is to do try doing it after every diaper change, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This way, the baby will associate diaper changes with tummy time and will hence, start expecting it. Additionally, the short periods of tummy time will help the baby get used to it.

Stay with The Baby

As a mom, you ought to try and keep your baby company during tummy time. If your baby already hates tummy time, you being there should help.

Most babies, especially newborns, will struggle to lift their heads-up during tummy time. Not being able to see what’s around them may make them abandoned. Hence, you want to make sure that your baby can see you and knows that you are there.

While keeping the baby company, talk, sing or play with him.

Prop Baby Up

You can use a soft blanket or towel to prop the baby up. Roll it up and place it under his chest and armpit to help provide support. This way, he’ll be able to see better and still work on his neck and upper body strength.

Provide Entertainment

It’s always wise to invest in some tummy time toys for him/her to play with. You can even purchase a mat for the baby’s tummy time on which he can move around. Toys and even a colorful mat can help provide a necessary distraction while the baby is on the mat. You’ll be surprised how fast the baby will forget that he’s actually on his tummy when he’s trying to reach for his favorite toy.

Start Slow

It will be difficult at first, but the key thing is to start slow. Always aim for 3- 5 minutes of tummy time with your newborn. Then as the child grows and gets used to tummy time, you can increase the minutes.