Newborn babies are born with almost 100 more bones in their bodies than adults. Baby bones are much softer than the bones found in an adult body, consisting of part bone and part cartilage. These extra bones fuse over time and harden as the child begins to use them. One of the largest and most important bones in the body, the skull, is no exception. By laying only on the back, your baby can develop flat spots on the skull. Tummy time for babies is an easy way for you to keep these flat spots from occurring while helping your child train other important muscle groups during the early stages of development.
What is Tummy Time?
Tummy time means placing your baby on their stomach while they are awake and have supervision. Though it may seem like an uncomfortable position to put your baby in, it is important to do it for several reasons:
- As mentioned above, it prevents flat spots from forming on the back of your baby’s head
- It strengthens your child’s neck and shoulder muscles so that they can begin to sit up, crawl, and eventually take their first steps.
- Tummy time improves your baby’s motor skills
The first few years of your baby’s life are crucial when it comes to developing proper body mechanics, and tummy time is a great way to make sure that both the front and the back are getting equal attention and strengthening.
Tips For Tummy Time
Once your baby is home from the hospital, they are ready to begin tummy time! Keep these tips in mind when it comes time for your first session.
- Babies benefit from 2-3 tummy time sessions each day, about 3-5 minutes a session
- Lay out a blanket or mat for your baby to lay on
- The best time for a session is after a diaper changer or nap time
- Have someone sit in front of your baby during tummy time to provide encouragement
- As your baby gets older, you can increase the amount of tummy time each session
Prevent Flat Spots on Your Child’s Head
Tummy time isn’t the only way to prevent flat spots on your baby’s head. When your baby is awake, hold them upright for cuddle time. This will take the pressure off of your baby’s head and allow them to rest in a natural upright position. Try to limit the amount of time that your baby spends sitting in car seats, carriers and bouncers.
Excellence Pediatric Rehab Center
Excellence Pediatric Rehab is a therapy clinic that specializes in pediatric therapy services. We offer physical, occupational, and speech therapy. If you have begun to notice flat spots on your baby’s head, don’t panic! It is a common occurrence and can be corrected with the proper care. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about what excellence rehab can do for you, give us a call today.