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Tummy time: in pictures

0-6 months

Why tummy time is important

Tummy time happens when your baby lies on his tummy with weight on his forearms. Tummy time builds head, neck and upper body strength for when baby is older. Your baby should do it a lot each day.

Start tummy time soon after birth, as part of baby’s daily play. In the first few weeks, try tummy time for 1-2 minutes, 2-3 times a day, at different times of the day. Your baby can build up to 10-15 minutes a day.

Back to sleep, tummy to play. While asleep, baby spends a lot of time on his back with his head in one position. This can cause flat spots on the back of his head. Tummy time helps prevent this. 

How to do tummy time

Place safe objects and toys close to your baby. Move them from side to side in front of her face. This encourages her to move, lift and turn her head.

Get down on the floor next to baby. Turn pages in picture books or magazines. This develops baby’s eye strength and keeps her interested.

Put a non-breakable mirror next to your baby so she can see her reflection. Try tummy time in different places, like outdoors on a blanket.

Keeping tummy time interesting and fun

Let your baby know you’re there by talking and singing, stroking his back or tickling his hands.

If your baby doesn’t like tummy time on the floor, try tummy time on a rolled-up towel, your lap or large ball.

Supervise baby during tummy time. As he gets stronger and starts moving more, clear away dangerous things.

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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