Tummy time will be a topic of many of your first doctor’s visits. I always found our doctor asking if we’re doing tummy time, how much of it, etc… Friends of mine also got this question every time they went in for a check up in the first few months. The reason doctors ask is because most babies hate it and therefore parents don’t want to do it. It’s important to do so that your baby develops muscles to help support their head and back. They also want to prevent flat head syndrome which is more common now that babies now sleep on their backs.
We did tummy time every day and several times a day. In the beginning Archer would only last 5 minutes at most on his tummy. We’d keep trying throughout the day and slowly he became more comfortable. Still, at almost 5 months, he doesn’t like being on his belly, but we still do it.
The play gym was where he did most of his tummy time. Get down on the floor with them so they can see your face and so they know they’re not alone. Encourage them and pick them up when you think they’ve reached their limit. When your baby can see better you can dangle some toys or put a mirror below them for entertainment — it might help them stay longer on their bellies. You can also place a small rolled up towel under their armpits across their chest to help prop them up until they become stronger.
According to my Mommy and Me instructor it’s very important that your infant gets plenty of time on the floor. Whether on their belly or not! I don’t think we did this enough and it something I would change next time around. So get used to sitting on the floor with them and encouraging them to move — it’ll help them develop strong muscles and research shows that they’ll be more athletic and active when they grow up.