Benefits of supervised tummy time for baby include strengthening of his/her neck, shoulder, arm and back muscles (he/she uses these muscles to move around), being able to see the world from different angles, which helps brain development and the time away from resting on the back of the head helps prevent developing a flat spot on his/her head.
Always place baby to sleep on the back (supine). You can begin offering supervised tummy playtime as soon as baby is born, making sure baby is awake and not too tired, at least 3 times a day.
At the beginning baby may be unsettled and only able to stay on their tummy for a minute or two during playtime. There are a few ways to achieve tummy playtime, such as carrying baby over your arm, shoulder, chest (only while you are awake) or lap, as well as tummy play on the floor, where baby can play on a comfortable firm mattress or bunny rug. Using a rolled towel or nappy under baby’s armpit and chest will give baby more support (make sure to remove rolls before baby is placed to sleep on the back). Baby can lift up their head more easily if propped on their elbows.
REMEMBER: Parents and carers are often very tired and can fall asleep easily during the day. Make sure baby is in a safe place before baby or caregiver falls asleep. Never leave baby alone or unsupervised on the tummy, as it is dangerous if baby falls asleep or their airways become covered.
Last modified: 23/8/17