Have supervised “tummy time” for babies who are awake. This will help babies strengthen their muscles and develop normally.
Reference: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Why is “Tummy Time” important? Infants now miss out on the 12 hours of tummy time that they used to get when sleeping on their tummies. Many infants also spend long hours in swings, car and infant seats when awake. Because of these practices, some infants are developing motor delays.
Tummy time is important because it helps infants:
• Stretch and strengthen the head, neck, shoulder and back muscles they will need to learn important motor skills (for instance, how to push up, roll over, sit up, crawl, and pull to a stand).
• Develop their sensory-perceptual, social emotional, problem solving, balance, visual, and hearing abilities.
• Develop normally shaped heads (infants who spend most of their time on their backs when asleep and in infant seats when awake are at risk for developing flat spots on the backs of their heads).
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Tummy Time
Majnemer A and Barr RG. (2006) Association between sleep position and early motor development. Journal of Pediatrics 149,623-9
American Physical Therapy Association (2008), Lack of time on tummy shown to hinder achievement of developmental milestones, say physical therapists.