From the first day your baby is home from the hospital, he or she should have tummy time at least two to three times a day. Tummy time is important during the first six months of life.

Tummy time prevents complications such as flattened heads and muscle strains and prepares your baby for crawling.

  • Always alternate the end of the crib so your baby will have different positions to lessen pressure on one area of the head.
  • Always vary positions when awake.
  • Always reduce the time spent in freestanding swings, bouncy seats, and car seats.
  • Always spend time holding your baby.
  • Always play with your baby on the floor when your baby is in both the tummy and the back positions.
  • Always place a toy just outside of reach during play time to get your baby to reach for the toy.
  • Always place toys in a circle around the baby to allow movement of several neck muscles.
  • Placing the baby on you tummy-to-tummy or tummy-to-chest allows the baby to lift his or her head and exercise neck muscles.

At the end of three months, look for these potential signs of concern:

  • Difficulty lifting head.
  • Stiff legs with little or no movement.
  • Pushes back with head.
  • Head turns only to one side.