In Infants and Children under the age of Two Years

Supervision by an adult is essential when providing an infant with tummy time

Tummy time is important for all infants as it contributes to their motor development and reduces the risk of infants developing flat spots on their head. Tummy time should be started soon after birth; schedule as many tummy time sessions as possible each day, before feeds and while your infant is awake and alert. While some infants with reflux, including silent reflux, only tolerate tummy time for short periods initially, the key is perseverance. Most infants tolerate being on their tummies for longer as they grow older and stronger. The following suggestions may help; however, discuss any concerns you have with your doctor or child health nurse.

  • Try to make tummy time fun and stimulating, with lots of toys to amuse your infant. Lie beside or in front of them and sing or tell nursery rhymes as a distraction.
  • Try tummy time on your bed instead of the floor. As always, fully supervise, and never leave your infant unattended on the bed.
  • If your infant objects to being laid flat on their tummy, try using a reflux wedge. Never leave your infant unattended, or allow them to sleep on the wedge.
  • Lie on your back and place your infant on your chest, tummy to tummy, facing you. It may help them feel more secure to be in this position, and it may also distract them.
  • Tummy time can be fun if you try different positions e.g. put your infant on their tummy for massage, or support them on an exercise ball or in the bath. Alternatively, you could sit on a chair with your infant lying on your lap.

© Written by Glenda Blanch, RISA Inc
Article from “Reflux Reality: A Guide for Families” by Glenda Blanch in association with Reflux Infants Support Association Inc. Reprinted with permission of Michelle Anderson Publishing.
Reviewed by Professor (Adj) Jeanine Young and Dr Sarah Manns.