Tummy Time Tips: The Why, What, and How of Baby Play.

After mastering the art of feeding and diaper changing, new parents are eager to begin working on baby's developmental milestones. Milestones are physical and social skills that give us clues on how a child's brain is growing. Childhood milestones are the physical expression of normal brain development and critical to early detection of potential issues. 

So, how do you start?? In all things parenting, it's best to remember that all kids learn through PLAY! Babies are no exception. Tummy time is the first way that you can play with your baby while gaining skills necessary to hit the first developmental milestones. 

Tummy time quick tips: 

  1. Five minutes, five times per day. 
  2. Holding your baby with her belly towards the floor counts as tummy time. 
  3. You can start tummy time even before the umbilical stump falls off. 
  4. Most babies initially don't like being on their bellies. And, that's OK. 
  5. Tummy to play, back to sleep. Always. 

Details on all of these tips, as well as some ideas on how to comfort your baby during tummy time, can be found in this post I wrote for US News and World Report's parenting blog. 

Watch the USNWR "For parents" blog for other great posts from experts on all things parenting. 

Good luck!