How to Do Tummy Time: Tips and Strategies

Implementing Tummy Time effectively requires more than just placing an infant on their stomach; it involves creating a supportive, engaging, and safe environment that encourages development. Trestle Therapy Group offers the following expert tips and strategies to help parents and caregivers make the most of Tummy Time, ensuring it is a beneficial and enjoyable experience for their infant. 

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment 
  • Use a Firm, Flat Surface: Select a firm, flat surface in a safe area for Tummy Time. A Tummy Time mat or a clean blanket on the floor works well. Avoid soft, uneven, or elevated surfaces to prevent risks. 
  • Stay Supervised: Always stay with your infant during Tummy Time. Active supervision ensures their safety and allows for immediate interaction and support. 
Engaging Your Infant 
  • Interactive Play: Keep Tummy Time interesting by using toys, colorful objects, or mirrors to capture your infant's attention. Encourage them to reach, look, and interact with their surroundings. 
  • Facetime with Baby: Position yourself at your infant's eye level to encourage eye contact and interaction. Your presence is reassuring and makes Tummy Time a bonding experience. 
Gradually Increasing Duration 
  • Start Small: Begin with short sessions (2–3 minutes) and gradually increase the duration as your infant becomes more accustomed to the position. Aim for a cumulative total of 15–30 minutes of Tummy Time spread throughout the day as your infant grows. 
  • Follow Your Infant's Lead: Pay attention to your infant's cues. If they become fussy or tired, it's time to end Tummy Time. Ensuring a positive experience is key to fostering a willingness to engage in the activity. 
Addressing Challenges 
  • Soothing Strategies: If your infant seems to struggle with Tummy Time, try soothing them with gentle patting or singing. Changing the time of day when Tummy Time is done can also help, as some infants may be more receptive after a nap or feeding. 
  • Variety in Positioning: Incorporate different forms of Tummy Time, such as laying your infant on your chest or lap. This variation can make the experience more comforting and engaging for them. 
Tummy Time for Special Considerations 
  • Infants with Torticollis or Flat Head Syndrome: Trestle Therapy Group emphasizes the importance of Tummy Time for infants facing challenges such as torticollis or flat head syndrome. In these cases, tailored strategies and additional exercises may be recommended by your therapist to address specific needs. 

At Trestle Therapy Group, our goal is to empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge and skills to support their infant's development effectively. Tummy Time is a critical component of this developmental journey, providing a foundation for physical strength, motor skills, and sensory integration. By adopting a thoughtful, informed approach to Tummy Time, you can help your infant achieve key developmental milestones in a nurturing and supportive environment. 


Overcoming Challenges with Tummy Time 

Despite its many benefits, Tummy Time can sometimes be a challenging activity for infants and their caregivers. Infants may initially resist Tummy Time due to discomfort, unfamiliarity, or simply being in a new position. Trestle Therapy Group understands these challenges and offers strategic advice to help families navigate these hurdles, ensuring Tummy Time becomes a positive experience for all involved. 

Identifying and Addressing Discomfort 
  • Observe for Discomfort: Some infants may show signs of discomfort during Tummy Time due to gas, hunger, or tiredness. Addressing these needs prior to starting Tummy Time can lead to a more successful session. 
  • Adjust the Environment: Ensure the Tummy Time area is comfortable, engaging, and free from overstimulation. A quiet room with a few favorite toys can make a significant difference in how Tummy Time is received. 
Building a Routine 
  • Consistency is Key: Incorporating Tummy Time into your daily routine helps your infant grow accustomed to the activity. Consistent practice can reduce resistance and increase familiarity and comfort over time. 
  • Positive Associations: Ending Tummy Time with cuddles or a favorite activity can help build positive associations, making future sessions easier to initiate. 
Engaging Professional Support 
  • Seek Guidance When Needed: If Tummy Time continues to be a struggle, or if you have concerns about your infant's development, Trestle Therapy Group recommends seeking professional advice. A physical therapist or pediatric specialist can provide targeted strategies and support to address specific challenges. 
Leveraging Peer Support 
  • Share Experiences: Connecting with other parents for tips and moral support can be invaluable. Parenting groups, both online and in person, offer a platform to share experiences, challenges, and successful strategies for Tummy Time. 

Tummy Time Variations 

To keep Tummy Time engaging and to accommodate different developmental stages and preferences, Trestle Therapy Group suggests incorporating variations into the routine. These alternatives can provide new stimuli and challenges, promoting continued development and interest in Tummy Time. 

Alternative Positions 
  • Lap Soothe: Laying your infant across your lap can serve as a gentle introduction to Tummy Time for younger infants or those who are initially resistant. 
  • Elevated Tummy Time: Placing a rolled towel or a small pillow under your infant's chest can help ease discomfort for some babies, offering a slightly elevated perspective. 
Incorporating Activities 
  • Interactive Toys: Use toys that encourage reaching, grasping, and sensory exploration. Toys that light up or make sounds when touched can motivate infants to extend Tummy Time. 
  • Mirror Play: Placing a safe, baby-friendly mirror in your infant's line of sight can captivate their attention, encouraging them to lift their head and engage with their reflection. 

Embracing the Journey of Growth 

At Trestle Therapy Group, our mission extends beyond providing expert therapy services; we strive to be a resource and support system for families navigating the complexities of early childhood development. As you incorporate Tummy Time into your infant's daily routine, remember that each small step contributes to significant milestones in their growth and well-being. 

We encourage parents and caregivers to: 

  • Stay Informed: Continue seeking out reliable information and resources to support your child's development. Our team at Trestle Therapy Group is always here to provide guidance, answer questions, and offer professional support tailored to your child's unique needs. 
  • Be Patient and Persistent: Understand that progress in Tummy Time, like all areas of development, varies from one child to another. Celebrate the small victories and remain patient and consistent in your efforts. 
  • Connect with Our Experts: If you encounter challenges with Tummy Time or have concerns about your child's development, do not hesitate to reach out to Trestle Therapy Group. Our consortium of medical experts is committed to providing compassionate, tailored therapy solutions that cater to the individual needs of both pediatric and adult populations. 
  • Share Your Journey: Your experiences with Tummy Time can inspire and support other families. We invite you to share your stories, challenges, and successes with us and our community. Together, we can create a supportive network for all families embarking on the developmental journey. 
Tummy Time is more than just a daily routine; it's an integral part of your infant's developmental journey, offering a foundation for physical strength, coordination, and sensory exploration. Trestle Therapy Group is committed to guiding and supporting families through this pivotal stage, ensuring that Tummy Time is a positive and productive experience. By understanding its importance, embracing the challenges, and utilizing the strategies outlined, caregivers can significantly contribute to their infant's growth and well-being. 

Join the Trestle Family 

If Tummy Time presents ongoing challenges, or if you're seeking personalized guidance to support your infant's development, Trestle Therapy Group is here to help. Our team of dedicated professionals is ready to offer tailored advice and therapy solutions that cater to the unique needs of your child. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can assist in nurturing your infant's developmental journey. Together, we can lay a strong foundation for your child's future growth and achievements. 

Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
We know you’re looking for answers, and we’re here to help
See our FAQs