In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics started the Back To Sleep campaign. The hope was that placing babies on their backs to sleep would reduce the amount of infants who succumbed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.) The second component of this Back to Sleep campaign was Tummy To Play; doctors knew if babies were going to be spending so much time sleeping on their backs that they had to counterbalance that with time on their tummies while awake. Yet, somehow Tummy to Play has really taken a back seat, which has led to a significant increase in head molding, head flattening, and developmental delays.
Why is Tummy Time so Important?
Improves motor milestone achievement
Helps prevent skull deformities and helps round out a baby’s head
Helps remedy torticollis
Improves head control
Helps with digestion and gastric emptying
Helps improve range of motion in a infant’s tongue
Provides fantastic interaction between parent and infant
So, your kiddo hates tummy time…. What can you do??????
It’s all about how you do it! Want to know the secret???
In late April 2018, our SDBFC staff attended the Tummy Time Method training. Up until then, many of us were just placing our infants on their tummies, directly from holding them upright on our chests. Then our infants would start to fuss almost immediately, so we thought that they hated tummy time. In all actuality, it was the transition to tummy time they hated, or better said…. The lack of easy transition into tummy time. We were initiating their fight or flight reflex from the drastic movement from upright to tummy. In our training, we were taught that rolling an infant onto his tummy actually limits stress or overstimulation for the infant, making tummy time much more enjoyable.
So check this out! We have been demonstrating this new rolling method to our patients and their babies are LOVING it! Like full 180 from hating tummy time to totally digging it!
Here is a video, created by our awesome instructor, Michelle Emanuel, on how to roll your baby into tummy time.
Components of an super fun tummy time routine:
Designate a tummy time area on your home - should be on the floor (with carpet or blanket)
Roll your infant (2 weeks old - crawling) into tummy time 4 times per session, about 4-5 sessions per day. For reference, the video shows the baby rolled into tummy time once.
Make sure to get down on the floor and interact with your baby. Have older siblings join in on the fun, as well!
As soon as your kiddo starts to fuss, roll her out of tummy time, pick her up and hug her close. Then start again, if the session isn’t complete.
Choose times when your infant is calm and relaxed, like right after a feeding session. Tummy Time shouldn’t cause him to spit up more.
Are you excited to join us in the Tummy Time revolution?
Stay tuned for more information about our Tummy Time class series! Starting in July, SDBFC will offer 2 Tummy Time 4-class series per month…. Perfect for infants who need a bit more hand-holding and for parents looking for more support (and a reason to get out of the house!)