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How to Practice Tummy Time

Put your baby belly down for a bounty of benefits.

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Tummy time is like strength training for babies. It helps them build their neck, abs, back, and shoulder muscles, which are key for rolling, sitting, and crawling. Plus, it reduces the risk of developing a flat head. Try putting your baby belly down several times a day for as long as she'll allow it, even if it's for less than a minute. Not all babies like being in this position, so your sweetie may cry or fuss it first. To keep it safe, place your baby on a firm flat surface such as a carpeted floor. If your floor is wood, laying down a receiving blanket can offer some comfort. Make sure there are no pillows or soft toys near her face. Also remove any objects at baby's sides that she could fluff onto. And always supervise your sweetie while she's on her tummy. When she is on the floor, offer distractions to entice her to stay on her tummy. One option, lay down looking at your baby with your face close to hers. It's one of her favorite things to gaze at. Or place a toy or mirror in front of her. She'll be tempted to reach for it and forget she's on her belly.