Tummy Time and Brain Development

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October 26, 2021

Combine Bonding and Development

When you have an infant, bonding and attachment come from simple acts throughout the day. Each diaper change, each feed, each snuggle is an opportunity to engage with your child. One of the first “activities” that is recommended for young babies is tummy time.

Babies can start doing tummy time as soon as they're home. But that doesn't just mean putting your baby on the floor from the start. By starting slowly, adapting the activity to your child’s age and abilities, and finding ways to connect, you’ll make this routine more enjoyable and effective for everyone.

Get the Most out of this Daily Activity

In the video below, our Early Childhood Intervention physical therapist will show you different tummy time set-ups that are fun and tear-free.

If your child is less than two months old, you can start by laying your child on your chest with his or her head facing you. This helps keep your child warm and calm while allowing for good eye contact and neck strengthening. You can also prop the baby up on a pillow so that they can look around and explore. You’ll find this method at the 00:52 mark in the video.

Once your child is 2 to 4 months old, you should start putting the baby on the floor, where they can pivot and reach more easily. Using toys and props can make this more fun and engaging. Our therapist discusses floor time at the 3:11 mark in the video. By 6 months, your baby will be pushing up, turning and maybe even trying to crawl.

Tummy Time Methods That Your Baby Will Love

Developmental Benefits of Tummy Time

The ultimate goal for tummy time and floor time is learning to crawl. Crawling is an important developmental milestone. Babies learn to control both arms and legs at the same time! There’s a lot of communication between the brain and the body. Tummy time also helps babies learn spatial awareness, depth perception, as well as fine and gross skills that lead to handwriting and using utensils. While some babies love tummy time, and others resist it, finding a gentle approach to consistently doing these activities have a life-long impact!


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