Article 01 - Tummy Time... A Learning Adventure

Tummy Time...A Learning Adventure As a natural part of physical development and growth in the early months, a baby needs to experience lots of time on the floor playing. During the day with an adult closely watching, babies need time on their back but also lots of time on their stomach. Tummy time is important for a child's development for many, many reasons.

The trick to tummy time is to encourage the baby to experience it frequently, for short periods of time and at varying times during the day.

Tummy time gradually enhances and develops muscle tone. The child starts to hold up his/her head and the upper body (arms, shoulders, neck and back) starts to become stronger allowing the child to begin to control his/her body. The small muscles in the fingers and hands gain strength when they stretch and support the body. Tummy time also encourages visual development as the child changes focus for far and near objects when looking around the room and at the toy they are playing with.

Tummy Time is a pre-requisite to crawling. The child muscles need time to get strong and allow the brain and body to process the step by step stages.

The most ideal tummy time experiences are when you as the adult join in too. Lay a rug on the floor and join your child. Sing simple nursery rhymes, play with toys, talk to them, massage them or read stories together.

Some children do not enjoy lying on their stomach, for example, if they have reflux (where they bring up their milk after drinking). Some children may not like the newness of the position if it is unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Be sensitive to your child's needs and take it slowly and give it time.

For the safety of your children never leave them unattended while lying on their stomach... even for a few seconds! Tummy time activities should only be when the baby is awake and never when asleep.

So get down on the floor, play with your child and enjoy the very special moments together, as they really don't last and are very precious.

Refer to the Moving To Learn book and CD if you would like more information and ideas on Tummy time. 

Please note:
If using any of this information for adult training or other use besides personal, please inform the author and acknowledge the source of information.