Flipping your baby on his belly will do him loads of good. To sit, crawl and walk a baby needs strong trunk, back and neck muscles. By putting him on his tummy you can help him to develop these muscles properly and gain control over his body. The American Association of Pediatrics has conducted several studies on the benefits of tummy time. From these reports it is evident that a baby should spend most of the waking hours on his tummy. Here are some of the benefits discovered by those studies:
- Tummy time reduces chances of developing flat head or plagiocephaly.
- Tummy time ensures gross motor development of a baby. When put on their belly, babies kick and push which develops their gross motor skills. They also learn to roll and crawl and this helps in strengthening the torso and large muscle groups of the body.
- Tummy time develops eye-hand coordination of the baby.
- When the baby lies on the tummy, he tries to grab things such as toys, the blanket or the parents’ clothes. This develops the fine motor skills.
- Tummy time aids in cognitive development. A baby lying on his tummy gains a different perspective of the environment. He can rotate his head and observe things around him. He can even rotate his body. This helps him to speed up cognitive development.
- It is important for a baby to develop his vision. Resting on the tummy makes the baby aware of the objects around him. It also helps him to track the movements of people and objects, which aids in his vision development.
- Torticollis is a condition in which the neck muscles are tightened on one side. This stretches the head in a certain direction. By putting the baby on his belly you can avoid this condition, or improve it if your baby already has it.
- Tummy time strengthens important muscles in the neck and upper body. It also improves trunk stability (we all know how important core strength is!) and limb coordination. Developing those core muscles is really important for head control and for reaching important developmental milestones such as sitting, standing, pulling up, crawling, and walking.
It has been proven that babies who spend more time on their tummies will reach the major milestones faster. So, for proper development of your baby, it is essential that you make him lie on his tummy while he is awake.