Michelle Emanuel, OTR/L, CIMI, CST, NBCR, RYT 200, originator of Tummy TimeTM and the Tummy TimeTM train the trainer courses, developed a process for putting babies into tummy time that respects the normal developmental sequence of their social nervous system and vestibular systems, unlike many approaches that advocate placing baby directly on their tummies without first putting them through a gentle roll. Many babies become agitated and fearful in tummy time unless parents properly engage them in the process.
Intentional tummy time is necessary in our culture, because of the controversial yet popular “Back to Sleep” campaign and modern practices of placing babies in swings/seats/car seat carriers/jumpers for long periods of time. Prior to babies sleeping on their backs, (a shift that occurred in 1992,) most babies slept in tummy time. The need for intentional tummy time activities was significantly less when babies spent hours sleeping on their tummies. Now, babies spend most of their sleep and waking time on their backs without the counterbalance of time spent on their tummies. This has led to a significant increase in developmental and cognitive delays, positional plagiocephaly and positional brachycephaly.
We acknowledge and appreciate that the controversial “Back to Sleep” campaign has brought awareness of safe sleeping practices, however, we must also bring awareness and attention to allowing babies to experience tummy time safely as advocated by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
At the ABREAST center for breastfeeding we teach parents how to properly engage their babies in Tummy TimeTM both in individual sessions and in group classes. Please call 614-326-3504 for the current schedule and fee.
What is tummy time?
Time your baby spends lying on his or her tummy for development, play and connection with you! Tummy time can be done many ways
* on a parent’s chest
* on an adult’s lap
* on a blanket on a surface, such as bed or floor
Tummy time is always supervised play time.
How often should babies have tummy time?
3-5 times a day for 5-15 minutes is typically best for most babies. Babies respond well to small doses of consistent, pleasant experiences.
Why is tummy time important?
• helps prevent head flattening (plagiocephaly and brachycephaly)
• helps re-mold head if flat spots have been noted
• helps baby develop core strength
• helps baby learn postural skills by strengthening and engaging the spine
• helps baby mobilize mouth and throat structures for feeding and speech/language development
• helps promote bonding/attachment
• promotes your baby's potential for movement success
• helps baby access spine and neck reflexes which help baby learn about head control and upright head postures
Adequate time spent in Tummy Time enhances proper motor and brain development, thereby supporting optimal performance in school, dance and sports!
What if baby fusses/cries during tummy time?
If your baby does not seem to like tummy time, offer Tummy TimeTM instead. TummyTimeTM classes and private sessions are loaded with information to help you understand baby's needs and behaviors, especially when they do not seem to enjoy the experience. Babies, especially in the first twelve weeks of life (the fourth trimester), often need help with regulating/calming themselves. Babies are experiencing lots of sensory input from their body, the environment and from care-giving experiences, and this includes tummy time. This TummyTimeTM approach ensures that babies feel safe and ready to play in tummy time!
Frequently asked Questions:
1. How old does my baby need to be? These classes are for newborn to pre-crawling babies.
2. When is tummy time class? Class is held weekly on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
3. What happens during class? We practice tummy time, baby massage, and calming, relaxation techniques. We also have a lot of fun!
4. Do I need to bring anything to class? You, Baby and a blanket. No special preparation or equipment is needed
5. My baby doesn't like tummy time, is it okay if we still come? YES! Tummy TimeTM teaches the secret of fun, enjoyable tummy time.