Alexis Sawyer, M.D.
Tummy time is a baby's first workout. Tummy time takes place when a child is awake; the baby lies on his stomach while a parent or caregiver supervises him. It is important for a child to have tummy time because it allows him to use neck and upper body muscles and stabilize his head when he sits upright. Tummy time is necessary because a newborn needs time to counteract the long periods of lying on his back when sleeping and it helps prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Parents should start tummy time as soon as possible. It is an easy and beneficial practice for the child. At first, tummy time may be one or two minutes for a couple of times a day, moving up to five to 10 minutes. Some babies are happier being on their tummies than others. If your child does not like staying on his stomach, there are a number of ways to make it more pleasant for your newborn. Interacting and getting down to the baby's level is a great way to entertain him and spend some time together.
Each child has different preferences, so it is important to be patient with tummy time. Try to make it a fun part of their daily routine. If your baby is having a lot of issues with tummy time, talk to your baby's pediatrician.