What is ‘tummy time’ for kids? | #parenting

It is said that tummy time is one of the first exercises that an infant is made to do. It is considered to be extremely important, so much so that doctors have started to advise parents as to how they can go about it, when they should start, etc.

To understand more about it, indianexpress.com reached out to Dr Gurudutt Bhat, consultant paediatrics at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, who answered some frequently-asked questions for all new parents.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is tummy time?

Tummy time is a period during the day that your baby spends awake and on their stomach. It is a crucial exercise for the baby’s motor, visual, and sensory development. The baby can begin at any time after birth.

For how long must it be done?

Tummy time can be done for 1 or 2 minutes under the full supervision of an adult, and when the baby is awake. It can work for up to 18 or 20 minutes thrice a day by the third or fourth month.

How effective is it?

It is quite effective, for it helps with the motor, visual and sensory developments of the infant.

Why tummy time?

It helps to avoid flattening the scalp because of lying on the back of the head for long, and is good for neck muscle development. It also helps accelerate the milestones in a baby’s growth.

What should parents know?

During tummy time, parents should always supervise the baby, to ensure the baby is not sleepy and is fully active. For the baby, sleeping on the stomach is not advisable. Keeping an appropriate time gap between feeds and tummy time is ideal.

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