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Here's a tummy time how-to

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Baby on stomach playing with toy

Everyone talks about the importance of tummy time. It develops a baby's head, neck and shoulder muscles and leads to other important skills like crawling.

But how exactly does it work?

Here are some steps to get started:

1. Lay your newborn on his or her tummy across your lap two or three times a day for a few minutes.
2. As your baby grows stronger, place him or her on a blanket on the floor after a diaper change or nap. Arrange age-appropriate toys within reach.
3. After your baby adjusts, do this more frequently or for longer periods of time. Around 3 to 4 months old, try to aim for around 20 minutes of tummy time a day. Be sure you’re next to your baby.
4. Your baby may get fussy or frustrated, but you’ll be there for encouragement every step of the way.

SOURCES:

• Stephanie De La Cruz, licensed mental health counselor, Center for Child Counseling
Brazelton Touchpoints Center

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