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The Importance of Tummy Time

4 December 2013

As the name suggests, "Tummy Time" is a colloquial term used to encourage parents to ensure their babies spend time on their stomachs and this has been found to have numerous health and development benefits. Research has suggested that tummy time may help strengthen their posterior neck muscles and reach milestones like crawling faster, and although babies who do not spend time on their stomachs eventually catch up physically, physical therapists say the first year of life is an important time for babies to start to become aware of their bodies and begin to learn movement and balance.

In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended babies sleep on their backs to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since this introduction the rate of SIDS decreased by 50%. Here in Australia we are one of the worlds leading in the SIDS campaign and have had amazing results in the reduction of SIDS. Since the Back to Sleep campaign started in 1994, an unintended consequence was that babies missed out on the twelve or so hours they used to spend in the prone position which helps strengthen neck and back muscles. Parents are now being encouraged to ensure their babies receive tummy time while they are awake in order to counter this. Another reason tummy time is important is that some babies who are always on their backs can sometimes get flat spots on their heads (this is know as Plagiocephaly). 

Providing Tummy Time when your baby is awake and someone is watching can help prevent these flat spots as well as fast track their co-ordination, balance, and many many more important abilities. Likewise, timmy time can advance a baby's eye sight and eye convergence because when babies are on their back almost all object (lights, ceiling fans) are meters away, but when a baby is on their stomach the floor is centimetre away from them and there eyes are constantly working and devloping.

To help enhance your baby's tummy time, we have a wide variety of playmats and lots of fun toys available both in store and online... visit us today!

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