Introduction to Tummy Time for Baby Question & Answer

Written by: Laura Hunter, LPN & Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN



Time to read 2 min

With putting babies to sleep on their backs being the center of attention, we often forget the importance of tummy time. 

So, what is tummy time, why is it important, and when should we be doing it?

It's not JUST playtime for our little ones but also an important stepping stone to many developmental milestones.

What is tummy time?

It is during the day when the baby is awake, and we lay them on a firm surface while supervised. We can lay them in their crib, pack-and-play, or on a playmat.

Why is tummy time important? 

It gives babies an opportunity to engage in physical activity that strengthens their arms, shoulders, trunk, neck, and back muscles.

  • These muscles are the ones they’ll need to develop in order to roll over, sit up and crawl.
  • It boosts gross motor skills.
  • Babies spend a lot of time on their backs, so this also helps prevent a flat spot on their head and helps babies master head control.

When should I start doing tummy time with my child?

We recommend beginning as soon after birth as possible.

Tummy time = Playtime! Lay on your back and place the baby on your chest, facing you. Make faces, play peek-a-boo, sing silly songs, and take lots of pictures!

How long should tummy time sessions be?

Begin with 1-2 minutes of tummy time, three to five times per day.

Gradually, work your way up to 10-15 minute tummy time sessions three to five times daily by 6-8 weeks of age.

What time of day is best for tummy time?

Whenever possible! Try to allow your baby to have time on their tummy during each awake period.

A few other suggested times:

  • About 10 minutes after feeding
  • 5-10 minutes before feeding
  • 5-10 minutes before bathing

What if my baby seems unhappy during tummy time?

Let’s face it- even we sometimes feel like crying when we’re exercising. (Ha!)

There may be times that the baby doesn’t like it, and that is okay! Remember, it is a great way for babies to really stretch their muscles, even if they’re fussy.

  • Pull out some colorful crinkle toys and place them just out of the baby’s reach.
  • Lay down with the baby and talk or read to them. Remember that tummy time can be a great bonding time for you and the baby.

The best part is the one-on-one time you spend with your baby, watching them grow and develop right before your eyes!

Each day, they will do new things that surprise and excite us, and that’s what parenting is all about. Enjoy these moments with little; before you know it, they’ll be scooting or crawling off the playmat!

At MOC , we are here to support you through all the essentials and your typical day-to-day routines during your newborn and toddler years. Our most comprehensive offerings are our online courses, where Jennifer and Laura walk you through each stage of your parenting journey. Online course members also get access to regular new content, like our MOC Moments series! The online courses are designed to complement and be used with our books perfectly.

We hope you found our frequently asked questions about tummy time helpful, and remember, and you’ve got this!

Co-Founders of Moms on Call

Laura Hunter, LPN and Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN

Co-Founders of Moms on Call, Pediatric Nurses and Moms to 8 kids between them, Laura Hunter and Jennifer Walker created Moms on Call to simplify parenting. Through their books, online courses, podcast and content, they help parents everywhere navigate the first four years with confidence and better sleep.

Shop the Post

Related Content