Posted tagged ‘milestones’

The Right Time for Tummy Time

May 17, 2010

I don’t know why people keep telling moms to put their infants prone, on their belly without telling the appropriate age to do so.  I have mom’s with infants from newborn to 3 months telling me that they tried to put their infants on their bellies but they just cry.  Of course.  Under 4 months of age, infants do not have good neck and trunk control.  If you put them on their bellies, they just flop down and get frustrated because they can’t do anything.  The neck is too weak to hold up the head.  They can’t push off of their arms to look around and see.  I’m convinced that they get mad (to put it mildly). 

It is important for infants to develop all their milestones appropriately.  Missing steps might be a sign of problems.  The purpose of tummy time is  to allow the infant to play and explore the world closest around them and develop hand eye coordination.  When the time is right and further along, it leads to crawling with rythmic alternating to the upper and lower extremities, again for coordination. 

So, the all important tummy time is for infants 4 months and older.