What do these two newborn topics have to do with the other? Ever since The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that babies be put to sleep on their backs with the Back to Sleep Campaign—thereby decreasing the SIDS rate by an astonishing rate of 50 percent—pediatricians have noticed an increase in cranial asymmetry in babies (flattened area on baby’s head). This is flattening is often compounded by time spent during the day with head rested against a stroller, car seat, bouncy seat or swing. And while putting your baby on his back for sleeping remains a vital rule of newborn care, it’s also important to ensure that he spends time during the day on his belly—for “tummy time”—as well.
Tummy time builds and strengthens the muscles in your baby’s neck, back, shoulders, and legs, which sets an essential foundation for motor skill milestones such as rolling over, crawling, grasping objects and beyond.
Baby Nurse Tip: A few times throughout the day use a nursing/Boppy pillow (a regular pillow or rolled up blanket works well too) and place your baby on his tummy with his chest on the pillow and his arms stretched out in front of him. Place a mirror or toy within reach to add a little playtime to this great development and exercise activity. If your baby cries, there’s no need to push it. Simply try again later. Soon, time spent on his tummy will add up and he’ll be comfortable playing in that position—and will eventually start rolling, sitting up and crawling from that position.