Chicago Physical Therapy: Tummy Time

Amanda Wizinsky, one of Step by Step Care Group’s physical therapists in Chicago, frequently uses prone time or tummy time in her Chicago physical therapy sessions. She believes that it is important to incorporate tummy time daily with your infant in order to strengthen their neck and back.
John Wright 

Benefits of Tummy Time:

Research has shown there are many benefits of tummy time for your child’s development.
  •       Strengthens and stretches the neck, head, shoulder, and back.
  •       Prevents flat head syndrome.
  •       Develops sensory perception.
  •       Improves balance.
  •       Increases visual and hearing abilities.
  •        Promotes rolling and crawling at an early age.

 Tummy Time Tips:
Tummy time can start as early as the first week of life! Start by laying your infant on your lap or knee to instill comfort and security. Increase the amount of tummy time to 20 minutes by 3-4 months of age. Here are some more tips for a successful tummy time! An adult supervisor needs to be present at all times for the following exercises.
  •        Hold your infant on your lap 2 or 3 times a day, starting the first couple days after birth.
  •        Once your baby becomes stronger, place your baby on a colorful or graphic blanket to promote visual interest.
  •        Surround the child with toys during tummy time to promote lying for 20 minutes a day without discomfort.
  •        Roll your infant on a 60 cm exercise ball on their stomach back and forth and side to side.
  •        Make a bolster to put underneath your baby by rolling up a towel.

If your child is having difficulty holding his or her own head up by 4 months, consult your pediatrician.  If you or your child needs assistance for proper tummy time, feel free to contact Step by Step Care Group at (312) 242-1665.

References:
Hoecker, Jay L. "Infant and Toddler Health." Tummy Time: How Much Does Your Baby Need? Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research., n.d. Web. 30 June 2015.
Leonard, Vickie, and Alanna Freeman. "Tummy Time in Infants." Tummy Time for Infants (n.d.): n. pag. UCSF Child Care Health. Web. 30 June 2015.