Tummy time simply involves laying your baby on their tummies while they are awake. This exercise promotes strength and healthy development.
Babies that do not spend enough time on their tummies will often skip or delay steps involved in brain development, which can then lead to poor coordination, delayed language development, an abnormal immune response, and muscle imbalances as a child and adult. Tummy time is the most natural and beneficial exercise to encourage infants proper growth.
Once a newborn’s belly button has healed from the umbilical connection and the stump falls off, you can introduce the tummy time position. Between one and two months, it is normal to observe your baby hold their head up and comfortably raise their head approximately 45 degrees while on their tummy.
Attempt tummy time when your baby is well rested and fed, to avoid irritability and fussiness. Also, give them time to digest their milk, approximately 30-45 minutes post feeding, to avoid excessive spit up. We recommend starting slow, with 1 – 2 minute intervals throughout the day, and increase gradually based on your baby’s comfort, happiness, and ease. Having your baby lay on your chest is a good method – as infants love being held and looking at your face, especially skin to skin. You can also hold your baby across your thighs face down while you massage their back, this can double as a soothing activity before nap time.
To get the most out of your baby’s tummy time, be creative and try different ways to optimize their experience. Always supervise your baby, to ensure their safety. If your baby does not seem to enjoy tummy time, or they seem uncomfortable, it could indicate that they have an injury to their spine from birth and interference in their nervous system. Pediatric chiropractic care can address this concern with gentle adjustments.
Pediatric chiropractic care is also essential because it can speed up any developmental delay that may be present by changing the tone of the nervous system to the parasympathetic state – which allows for growth and healing. At Pure Light Family Chiropractic we love caring for babies from birth through every stage of development.