Tummy Time With A Pillow: Supporting Your Baby Safely

Tummy time with a pillow is important for babies. It helps them to develop strength in their necks, shoulders and abdominal muscles. It can be a little daunting, especially for new parents, to start introducing tummy time. Here’s why you need to do it and how to do it safely.


tummy time


Benefits Of Tummy Time For Your Little One


There are so many benefits to tummy time. It’s so important for your little one’s development. Tummy time can help your little one to:


  • Develop their neck and shoulder muscles
  • Build strength
  • Promote gross motor skills
  • Encourage them to play
  • Help to prevent and treat a flat head


How To Introduce Tummy Time


Tummy time should always be done when your little one is awake. Try to begin introducing it after a bath, nap or a nappy change. It’s not a good idea to try tummy time after a feed, as your little one is likely to be sleepy and it could impact their digestion.

You could begin tummy time on a blanket or a mat. Give your little one plenty of space on a flat surface. Start with only a few minutes and build it up over time. If your baby is a newborn, you can still introduce tummy time safely. Simply lay your little one, belly down, across your chest, or across your lap for a minute or two.

Try to add in tummy time about three times a day.


Tummy Time With A Pillow


Some babies enjoy their tummy time with a pillow for support. Put a blanket down and then place a pillow on it. Something like a breastfeeding pillow as it can offer a lot of support. Your little one can lie with their tummy on top of the pillow, using it to prop up their arms and shoulders.

You need to always supervise your little one during tummy time, especially if you’re doing tummy time with a pillow. You may want to use tummy time with your little one to encourage their other skills such as reaching and grabbing. You can put some age-appropriate toys nearby to encourage these skills. You can also give your little one a board book or a non-breakable mirror which can help develop their eyesight.

You don’t need to keep tummy time with a pillow indoors. If it’s on flat ground, there’s no reason why you can’t move tummy time outside on good days.


How Much Tummy Time Does A Baby Need?


Newborn babies should only have tummy time for a minute or two, but while lying on you not the floor to begin with. You can increase this over time, until they’re spending five minutes or more for tummy time around three times per day.

By five or six months, your little one will probably be able to roll over and might be able to get up to a sitting position. Tummy time is still very important at this stage as it will help strengthen and develop muscles and motor skills. You could work up to 40 minutes to 60 minutes of tummy time at this stage.


What If Your Little One Hates Tummy Time?


Some babies hate tummy time, but it’s still important to give them the opportunities for development. They will eventually get used to it and begin to enjoy it. It can help babies who are reluctant for tummy time to have toys for distraction. It can also help if you lie down with your little one, and try talking to them, or reading to them.

You might also want to try lying them on your lap or holding them against your chest, they’ll enjoy the skin-to-skin contact and find it comforting.


Supplies For Tummy Time


Really all you need for tummy time is a blanket and a pillow. However, you can add in other things, like toys, book and non-breakable mirrors. Anything that holds your little one’s interest can help encourage them to enjoy tummy time.


Safety During Tummy Time


You’ll need to make sure that you’re always supervising your little one and make sure that they are awake. Tummy time is not the time for sleeping. If it seems like your baby is starting to get sleepy, put them in their crib on their back.

There are times when it isn’t recommended for little ones to have tummy time. If you aren’t sure about introducing tummy time, talk it over with your doctor or healthcare professional.