** Free tummy time and positioning classes every Tuesday & Thursday. Everyone is welcome.

Tummy Time and Positioning

Over the years, we watched parents travel around New Jersey from consultation to consultation with doctors, physical therapists, and helmet companies, resulting in confusion and conflicting opinions. We knew there had to be a better way. Plagiocare is the only center of its kind for the treatment of plagiocephaly in New Jersey.

Plagiocare was created as a solution to the current chaotic system of plagiocephaly treatment. At Plagiocare, your baby’s entire team is under one roof, where care is led by our world class doctors. A unified treatment plan is created by our specialized team of doctors, physical therapists, and cranial specialists, to provide care as a team throughout the entire process. Don’t expect a typical doctor’s visit when you come to Plagiocare. Our state-of-the-art facilities provide an upbeat environment with fun music and yoga style physical therapy studios, making the experience as comfortable and convenient as possible.

image demonstrating crib positioning to prevent plagiocephlay

In addition to positioning instructions, “tummy time” is a concept which was created to teach parents to enjoy their child using activities that promote positioning on their tummies throughout the day. Proper positioning and tummy time alone may lead to the correction of mild forms of plagiocephaly and the appearance of a flat head.

Positioning

In addition to tummy time, parents and caregivers can try these other ways to help prevent positional plagiocephaly:

  • Hold your baby upright when he or she is not sleeping. This is sometimes called “cuddle time.”      

  • Limit the amount of time your baby spends in car seats, bouncers, swings,
    and carriers.     

  • Change the direction your baby lies in the crib from one week to the next. For example, have your baby’s feet point toward one end of the crib one week, and then have their feet point toward the other end of the crib the next week.

Child in physical therapy for torticollis

Tummy Time

Tummy Time describes the times when you place your baby on his or her stomach while your baby is awake and while someone is watching.

Experts in the U.S. recommend that babies sleep on their backs, with no crib bumpers, blankets, pillows or fluffy toys in the crib or bassinet, until at least 6 to 12 months of age. These safety measures have been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) significantly. But, when your baby is awake, you must make sure they spend a good amount of time on their tummy.

During “tummy time”, your child is placed on their stomach while they are awake and someone is watching them. This allows them to experience the world while laying on their tummy.

child in tummy time

How Much Tummy Time is Enough?

As soon as your baby comes home from the hospital, they can benefit from 2 to 3 tummy time sessions each day for approximately 3 to 5 minutes per session. As your baby grows and enjoys tummy time, the sessions can be lengthened and can occur more often throughout the day.

An appropriate amount of tummy time is important to:

  • Prevent your baby from developing positional plagiocephaly.

  • Improve your baby’s motor skills essential for brain development.

  • Help build strength for sitting up, rolling over, crawling, and walking.

 

Tummy Time Tips

  • Tummy time must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
  • Spread out a blanket in a clear area of the floor for tummy time.

  • Try short tummy time sessions after a diaper change or after your baby wakes from a nap.

  • Place a toy or toys within your baby’s reach during tummy time to help your baby learn to play and interact with his or her surroundings.

  • Have someone you trust sit in front of your baby during tummy time to encourage interaction and bonding.

  • If your baby was born premature, has stomach reflux, or other special needs, speak with your pediatrician prior to performing any tummy time.

  • For advanced tummy time techniques, visit www.healthychildren.org 

References:

  1. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Back-to-Sleep-Tummy-to-Play.aspx

  2. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

NOTE: This information pertains to positioning and tummy time only.  For information regarding safe
sleep practices, please view “How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained” on
www.healthychildren.org. Additional information can also be found at www.nichd.nih.gov

Courtesy of The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5)

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