One of the most important things to do with your baby when he/she is awake and alert is to provide some tummy time to strengthen the muscles in the neck, arms, and torso. Tummy time allows your baby to learn to hold his head and body up and eventually, to learn to crawl. Initially, tummy time is usually only tolerated for a minute or so, but as your baby gets older, tummy time will be enjoyed for longer periods of time.
You can provide your baby with tummy time by placing him on your chest while you lay down or by placing him on a clean blanket or mat. Since babies love faces, keeping your face close to your baby’s (approximately 8-12 inches away) will entertain your newborn for a couple of minutes during tummy time play. Babies spend a great deal of time on their backs and the pressure can cause flattening of the back of the head. Tummy time also helps to alleviate pressure off of the back of the head..
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Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST