“Tummy Time” helps your baby to strengthen the muscles in his neck, arms and shoulders, and it apparently also helps brain development.
Begin to give your newborn “tummy time” for a minute or two even in his first days. When he is awake place him on his stomach on your chest or lap, with his arms forward so he can lean on them. Stroke the back of his neck and talk or sing to encourage him to lift his head.
As your child’s strength increases begin to give him “tummy time” on the floor. Wooden floors often don’t allow babies to get enough of a grip so use a mat or rug. Try not to over stimulate babies too much during “tummy time” initially. Cover brightly coloured play-mats with a plain sheet for the first couple of weeks and just place one or two toys in eye range.”
Get on the floor beside him and play and sing to keep him distracted. Rolling a towel to support under his arms and shoulders may make him more comfortable.
Don’t give babies tummy time on a full stomach, or when they are tired or hungry.
Use the three cry rule: 1. If he cries or shows that he wants to change position distract him with a toy; 2. If he cries a second time distract again with a different toy and move her so she faces a different direction but is still on her tummy; 3. After the third cry pick up, but try again later if she has only spent a couple of minutes on their tummy.
The aim is to build up to about 10 minutes - or five minutes twice a day - and eventually to leave your baby to play on her tummy for as long as she is comfortable.
Remember your baby must always be supervised during “tummy time”. Always stay with him when he is on his tummy and turn him on to his back if he falls asleep.