It's tummy time for your infant

October 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A simple move that will help your baby's physical development. Advice from pediatrician Dr. Lisa Dana.

Tummy Time helps:

  • Respiratory expansion
  • Oral motor skills to help them eat
  • Shoulder Strength
  • Depth perception
  • Spine and hip musculature strength
  • Strength, mobility, and control of arm,s forearms and hands.



-Because of the back to sleep program that has significantly reduced the incidence of SIDS(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,) parents are afraid to put babies on their bellies -even to play.

-With less time on the tummy, we see more flat headed babies, and even a delay in normal milestones. Infants who do not get enough tummy time are oflen late to sit and crawl. Tummy time helps develop the core muscles that are crucial to reaching these milestones.

-I recommend starting tummy time in the first few days of life. A great reminder?..turn them over on their tummy after every diaper change. Frequency is more important than length of time.

-Use less time in the "lazy boys" of the infant world. i. e. the baby bouncy seats, and the infant car seats. By 4-6 months, you should not be using the baby bouncy chair anymore. By 6-7 months, your infant should be sitting independently and should not need to be in an infant seat.

-Car seats are important for safety of your child in the car, but should not be where your baby spends the majority of time. They keep your baby in a fixed position - excellent in the event of a motor vehicle accident - but not great for regular development.

-By giving your baby tummy time, you are helping develop the core muscles --- these are the muscles that help your baby to sit independently and crawl.

About Dr. Lisa Dana:
She was born in Bologna, Italy. She attended University High School in San Francisco and then went on to complete her undergraduate education at the University of California Santa Barbara. She attended Georgetown University for Medical School. She completed her Internship and Residency at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Dana is on the clinical faculty at UCSF and is a member of the San Francisco Medical Society. She has been in private practice in San Francisco and Mill Valley since 1999. Dr. Dana is married and the proud parent of three children. She is a founder and past president of the The Reading Tree Literacy Program.

Dr. Dana was featured in Pregnancy magazine for a tummy time interview.


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