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Science Says Tummy Time Has Big Benefits For Babies

A woman holds a baby's legs up in one hand and a diaper in another.
A mom changes her son during a support group at Kindred Space LA.
(Mariana Dale/LAist)
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A study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics confirms what many parents might have already been told — playing on their stomachs can help babies reach developmental milestones.

"Tummy time can then also help them to learn how to crawl as well, eventually giving them the strength in their head and neck and shoulder and trunk muscles that they’ll need to master those skills,"said lead author Lyndel Hewitt.

Despite the benefits, in Australia, where the research was conducted, only 30% of parents follow the recommendation of 30 minutes of tummy time a day.

"It is tricky to do. We're busy parents," Hewitt said. On top of that, babies don’t always seem to like tummy time.

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Dairian Roberts, an L.A. occupational therapist recommends that parents start small. For example, they can place baby on their stomach for a few seconds after changing their diaper and build a routine from there.


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