Tummy Time Chart By Age: 9 Milestones No Baby Should Miss

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Tummy Time Chart By Age

Are you looking for a tummy time chart by age?

Or maybe for the tummy time duration by age?

I got you covered.

You will find it in this article, with other life-saving tummy time tips.

Feel free to copy it and use it as you wish.

Take it with a pinch of salt, though.

Always keep in mind that every baby develops at their own pace.

Best unsolicited advice: don’t panic if you can’t tick off all milestones on time.

I’ve added our personal experience at the end for you to understand why you shouldn’t panic.

As a parent, it’s natural to want to ensure your little one reaches their milestones, and I get you 200%.

I created this comprehensive tummy time chart by age, outlining the nine crucial stages your baby shouldn’t miss for this exact reason.

From lifting their head to crawling and standing, I got you covered.

And if you don’t believe me, you can check our section dedicated to tummy time.

Among the most appreciated by readers:

  1. What to do to avoid the point where your Baby Hates Tummy Time
  2. What are the Top 25 Tummy Time Toys that will help you in this essential process
  3. Why a Tummy Time Mirror is a must-have

Before exploring the tummy time chart by age, let’s go through some tummy time FAQs.

If you need more details, please find them in the articles from the tummy time section.

Tummy Time FAQs

What Is Tummy Time?

Tummy time is the practice of placing a baby on their stomach while they are awake and supervised.

This position allows babies to develop head control, and strengthen their neck, back, and upper body muscles.

As well as develop motor and sensory skills.

This is essential for crawling, standing, and other developmental milestones.

What Are the Benefits Of Tummy Time For My Baby?

Tummy time offers several benefits for your baby, including:

  • Strengthening neck, back, and arm muscles
  • Improving motor skills
  • Developing sensory skills
  • Encouraging visual development
  • Preventing medical issues like plagiocephaly and torticollis

When Should I Start Tummy Time?

You can start tummy time as early as the first day your baby gets home from the hospital.

It’s a good idea to wait until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off and the belly button is healed.

How Often Should My Baby Do Tummy Time?

Your baby should do tummy time daily, starting with short periods of 1 to 2 minutes spread out over multiple sessions.

Gradually increase the duration as they get older.

Check my tummy time chart by age below for more precise guidelines.

Where Is The Best Place For Tummy Time?

The best place for tummy time is a flat, firm surface, such as a play mat or carpeted floor.

Avoid soft surfaces, such as beds or couches, as they can increase the risk of suffocation.

Avoid hard surfaces like ceramic tiles or hardwood floors.

How Long Should My Baby Do Tummy Time?

As long as it’s necessary.

Until your baby can stand by themselves and start cruising around the furniture.

When Should My Baby Stop Tummy Time?

There is no specific age when a baby should stop doing tummy time.

As your baby grows and becomes more mobile, will naturally spend less time on their tummy.

According to the baby developmental charts from the World Health Organization (WHO), most babies can stand and start assisted walking around nine months.

That’s when your focus should shift from tummy time toward creating a safe environment for them to learn to walk.

How Does Tummy Time Help Baby Development?

Tummy time helps with the following areas of a baby’s development:

  1. Motor skills: It strengthens neck, back, and arm muscles, and helps babies learn to push up, roll over, crawl, and eventually walk.
  2. Sensory skills: It encourages babies to explore their environment using their senses of touch, sight, and sound.
  3. Vision: It promotes eye-hand coordination and helps babies learn to focus on objects at different distances.

What Are The Most Common Problems Lack Of Tummy Time Can Produce?

A lack of tummy time can lead to the following issues:

  • Plagiocephaly: A flat spot on the back or side of the baby’s head.
  • Torticollis: A condition in which the baby’s neck muscles become tight, making it difficult for them to turn their head or, favor turning their head to one side.

What Are The Most Popular 4 Tummy Time Positions?

There are several tummy time positions you can try with your baby to make the experience enjoyable and comfortable.

The four most popular tummy time positions are:

  1. Tummy to tummy (tummy to chest): In this position, you lie down on your back and place your baby on top of you, facing down. This way, your baby can see your face and feel your warmth, which can be very comforting.
  2. Tummy down carry (football hold): In this position, you hold your baby facing down with their body tucked under your arm, like a football. This position is great for newborns, as it mimics the position from the womb.
  3. Lap soothe: In this position, you sit on a chair or the floor with your legs crossed and place your baby across your lap, facing down. You can use your hands to support your baby’s head and encourage them to lift it.
  4. Eye-level smile: In this position, you lie down on your stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows. The baby is lying in front of you on their stomach on the floor or mat with their elbows bent and forearms flat on the ground. This is the classic tummy time approach you can usually perform after 3 months.

Now, you will find online and on YouTube various articles and videos talking about 5 or more tummy time positions.

My verdict is, after reading and watching over 15 of these materials, that there are only four major positions and the rest are variations of these four.

The one video I recommend is below (advertising 5 positions but still very good explanation):

What If My Baby Hates Tummy Time?

First, I have a dedicated article on how to avoid the point where your Baby Hates Tummy Time.

Spoiler alert: My article focuses on avoiding the issue, not treating it.

However, here are some tricks you can try if your baby doesn’t enjoy tummy time:

  • Start with short periods of tummy time and gradually increase the duration as your baby grows.
  • Do tummy time only when your baby is rested, dry, and fed.
  • Use tummy time toys and playmats/play gyms to keep your baby engaged.
  • Place a rolled-up towel or a tummy time pillow under their chest to make them more comfortable.
  • Lie down on your tummy and play with your baby to make it more enjoyable.

Now let’s check out that tummy time chart by age I kept promising you.

tummy time baby winner

Tummy Time Chart By Age/Tummy Time Duration By Age

The Chart

Check out the tummy time chart by age that outlines different milestones and expectations of tummy time.

These milestones are based on general guidelines and may vary from baby to baby.

You will find a more detailed section for each milestone below the chart.

Always remember to consult with your pediatrician for personalized recommendations for your baby.

AgeTummy Time DurationMilestones
0 to 1 MonthShort periods of tummy time, 3-5 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day.Baby gets used to tummy time and might lift their head slightly and turn it from side to side.
1 to 2 MonthsTummy time to 5-10 minutes a day, 2-3 times a day.Baby should be able to turn their head from side to side, with limited head control, and also lift it to 45 degrees.
2 to 3 MonthsTummy time to 20-30 minutes a day, 2-3 times a day.Baby should be able to lift their head to 90 degrees and push up on their elbows. They might hold their head but not for too long, yet.
3 to 4 MonthsAim for 40-60 minutes of tummy time a day, spread out over multiple sessions.Baby should be able to lift and hold their head and chest up, support themselves on their forearms, and reach for toys.
4 to 5 MonthsContinue with 40-60 minutes of tummy time a day, spread out over multiple sessions.Increased upper body strength and control will allow longer tummy time sessions. Baby starts rolling from their tummy to their back and vice versa.
5 to 6 MonthsContinue with 40-60 minutes of tummy time a day, spread out over multiple sessions.Becomes more comfortable rolling from back to tummy, grabbing, and playing with toys. Might pivot for toys while on their tummy.
6 to 7 MonthsAim to increase tummy time past 60 minutes a day, spread out over multiple sessions.Begins to crawl or scoot. Able to sit with support and reach for toys while sitting.
7 to 8 MonthsContinue with 60-120 minutes of tummy time a day, spread out over multiple sessions.More independence during playtime. Starts pulling themselves up to a sitting position and maintaining it without help.
8 to 9 MonthsContinue with 60-120 minutes of tummy time a day, spread out over multiple sessions.More confidence in their strength and increasing curiosity and exploration. Should be standing around furniture.
9+ MonthsTummy time becomes less structured as your baby becomes more mobile and active. Beginning of the end of tummy time. A new stage ahead.Your baby starts cruising around and falls constantly.
Tummy Time Chart & Tummy Time Duration by Age

The Chart In Details

0 to 1 Month

  • Your baby will likely have limited head control at this stage.
  • Babies may turn their heads from side to side during tummy time.
  • Expect short periods of tummy time for a few minutes multiple times per day.

Tummy to tummy is the most popular position to start the process.

1 to 2 Months

  • Your baby may lift their head at 45 degrees for short moments during tummy time.
  • Look for increased comfort laying face down and alternating cheeks on the surface.
  • Arms will be more extended from their body while on their tummy.

Your baby seems on track, but keep the engagement up.

2 to 3 Months

  • During tummy time, your baby will begin to put more weight on their arms, with elbows behind their shoulders at a 45-degree angle.
  • Improved head control, lifting it between 45 to 90 degrees and possibly tilting.
  • Should be used with tummy time already and complain less.

Pay attention that your baby doesn’t favor one side when tilting because this behavior is associated with torticollis.

3 to 4 Months

  • At this stage, tummy time is strengthening the head, neck, and upper body muscles.
  • They may straighten their legs so that their lower belly touches the surface.
  • Try to reach 1 hour of tummy time daily, split into shorter sessions.

Keep monitoring for torticollis because now your baby should be in good (not yet full) control of their head and neck.

4 to 5 Months

  • During tummy time, your baby may start rolling from their tummy to their back or vice versa.
  • Increased upper body strength and control, allowing for longer tummy time sessions.
  • Your baby may begin reaching for toys placed near them during tummy time.

Your baby should already be an expert in tracking moving objects.

5 to 6 Months

  • At this stage, your baby may attempt to push up onto their hands during tummy time.
  • Expect improved coordination and the ability to grab and play with toys during tummy time.
  • Your baby may show signs of becoming mobile, such as rocking back and forth.

Be sure the area is prepared for your baby to rock back and forth to prevent accidents.

6 to 7 Months

  • Your baby may begin to crawl or scoot during tummy time sessions.
  • Improved overall strength and control of their body will be more evident.
  • Longer tummy time sessions will become possible as your baby enjoys these activities more.

Encourage your baby to do more complex actions and activities to prepare them for mastering the next milestone – crawling.

7 to 8 Months

  • During this stage, your baby may use tummy time to practice more advanced crawling techniques.
  • Increased confidence in their movement and strength will be visible.
  • Expect your baby to become more independent during playtime while on their tummy.

Your baby is focusing on crawling and reaching.

8 to 9 Months

  • Your baby will use tummy time to practice pulling up to a sitting or standing position.
  • Expect more curiosity and exploration during tummy time as they interact with their environment.
  • Babies at this stage may attempt a few steps while standing.

Your baby should be a master crawler and start practicing pulling up and sitting, preparing for the next milestone – standing.

9+ Months

  • At this stage, tummy time becomes less structured as your baby becomes more mobile and active.
  • Your baby may begin assisted walking or perfecting their crawling and cruising techniques.
  • Ensure their play area is safe and filled with opportunities for exploration and growth.

After nine months, the milestones are in fast succession, from crawling to sitting and from sitting to (assisted) walking.

Generally, girls start assisted walking in the range of nine months.

Boys might be 1-2 months behind.

Remember to adjust these guidelines based on your baby’s abilities and always consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s development.

Now that you have a tummy time chart by age, let’s discuss how to address some common concerns parents may have during this process.

Troubleshooting Common Tummy Time Concerns

Facing challenges during tummy time is normal, and there are ways to address these concerns:

  • Baby doesn’t enjoy tummy time: For some babies, tummy time can be uncomfortable at the beginning. You can help by making tummy time more enjoyable with toys, engaging with them face-to-face, or even lying down with them during the session.
  • Baby isn’t making progress: It’s crucial to remember that babies develop at different rates, and comparing your baby to others can lead to unnecessary stress. Consistently practice tummy time, and if your baby still isn’t making progress, reach out to your pediatrician for advice.
  • Baby has difficulty lifting their head: You can place a small rolled-up towel or blanket under your baby’s chest for additional support. Gradually remove the support once they become stronger and more comfortable during tummy time sessions.

Now with this out of the way, let’s see how tummy time worked out for our baby girl.

Tummy Time Milestones – Case Study

As promised, I will be sharing our experience with tummy time.

Status quo:

  • baby girl
  • born naturally at 37 weeks
  • APGAR score: 10
  • positioned in the lower bracket of the WHO growth charts (even today)
  • breastfed from day 1 (until today)

Anastasia had a slow start, and we managed to start proper tummy time only after one month.

Before three months, she didn’t tick off any milestones, and we were slightly worried.

Not sure what happened there, but she exploded and constantly went ahead of the chart and the odds.

  • crawling around 6 months
  • standing before 9 months
  • walking around 11 months

And all of this while constantly in the lower bracket of the growth charts.

The main tools we used:

The Lovevery Play GymRead the article

The Lovevery Play KitsRead the full article here

Flappy The Elephant

Today she is doing amazing things.

She is 3 years and 4 months old.

The one I am the most amazed by: managing 70-piece puzzles.

Currently, she is struggling with her first 100-piece.

When To Consult A Pediatrician

Tummy time is essential for your baby’s overall development, but it is crucial to recognize when to consult an expert for guidance.

Some situations when you should consider reaching out to a pediatrician include:

If your baby constantly resists tummy time or becomes distressed every time you place them in this position, a doctor can help determine if there is an underlying issue.

They may provide tips to make tummy time more enjoyable for your baby.

Another reason to consult a pediatrician is if your baby does not seem to progress according to the tummy time chart by age for several months in a row.

Or if they are struggling to reach developmental milestones.

A pediatrician can assess your baby’s growth and development to ensure they are on track.

In some cases, medical conditions or developmental challenges may interfere with your baby’s ability to engage in tummy time.

In such situations, an expert can help to identify the cause and recommend appropriate interventions or therapies to improve your baby’s development.

Remember, always trust your instincts as a parent.

If you feel something is off, approach an expert to ensure your baby’s healthy growth.

Key Takeaways

Tummy time is a vital part of your baby’s growth and development.

It helps to strengthen their neck, shoulders, arms, and back muscles, which are all important for their overall development.

Following the tummy time chart by age from above, you can support and encourage your baby’s progress in meeting important physical milestones.

Keep in mind that each baby’s development is different.

Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t follow the tummy time chart by age to the letter.

Remember to make tummy time enjoyable and engaging, using toys and interaction to maintain motivation.

As your baby progresses through these stages, tummy time will play a significant role in helping them reach essential milestones like rolling, crawling, standing, and even walking.

If you have any questions, tips, curiosities, or experiences to share, please use the comments section below.

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