Babies need strong core muscles in order to eventually be able to sit, crawl, and walk. That’s why it’s important young babies spend time on their tummies and not just their backs.
You will most commonly hear this referred to as “Tummy Time,” and it can happen any time, anywhere. Spread a blanket out in the park on a sunny day or at home in the living room. Get baby’s attention with a toy, colorful object or stuffed animal. Talk to them about the object or make the animal sounds that the stuffed animal would make—this will encourage them to lift their head and move around.
When your baby is fussy and just wants to be held, you can still strengthen their core muscles by the way you hold them. Carry the baby on their tummy straddled over one arm with your other arm on their back, like this:
This position actually exercises the baby’s back and neck muscles as well as the tummy muscles. Aim for about 20 minutes of tummy time per day to help your baby’s core muscles get nice and strong!