Tummy Time Home Exercises for Baby

What is tummy time?

Tummy time is time your child spends on his/her tummy while awake and supervised.

Why is tummy time so important?

Tummy time assists with normal development your babie's of motor skills, prevents tight muscles of the neck and development of flat spots on the back of the head. Tummy time also helps baby with the following:

  1. developing upper body strength
  2. developing hand strength (eventually supporting writing, typing)
  3. pivoting
  4. crawling
  5. creeping
  6. moving into sitting
  7. holding sitting position while playing with toys
  8. pulling to stand and balance

Time length/frequency

Tummy time can begin the first month of life. Increase time on tummy slowly.

Steps for Tummy Time

  1. Place the child on his/her tummy.
  2. Provide visual objects to encourage the child to lift his/her head, such as black-and-white patterns for newborns, colorful toys for older babies and a child-safe mirror
  3. Provide sound to encourage the child to lift his/her head. Options include a familiar voice, lullaby or upbeat song.
  4. Provide touch: Place the baby on your chest as you recline, which encourages your child to lift his/her head to look at you.
  5. Provide movement: Place child on your chest or lap on his/her tummy. Slowly rock.

Helpful hints:

  • Place a rolled towel or blanket under the baby’s chest (under arm pits).
  • Place toys in front and to both sides of the baby to encourage turning of the baby’s head and reaching with both hands.
  • Place your baby belly down over your lap when burping to introduce tummy time.
  • Make it fun!  


If you have questions or concerns please reach out to your child’s occupational therapist.

This page was last updated on: November 10, 2020 12:29 PM

Related Videos

Tummy Time Exercise

Tummy time is time your child spends on his/her tummy while awake and supervised. Tummy time is essential to help strengthen baby's head, neck and upper body muscles. Vanessa Strauss, a Physical Therapist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital's Rehabilitation Department, explains Tummy Time. This tutorial video will teach you the proper technique and pacing of this exercise, so you can have your child do it at home as recommended in your child's treatment plan.