Tweedie Therapy

Comprehensive Pediatric Occupational Therapy
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Some babies love it and some babies hate it. It is important that you start tummy time early and often. It is essential for the development of muscles that are crucial for milestones such as rolling over, sitting up and crawling. Since babies now sleep on their back to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome they do not naturally spend time on their bellies. Be sure to make time for your baby to be on their belly, it is important for healthy motor development.

Occupational Therapist Tip
from Britt Collins coauthor of Sensory Parenting

From a sensory and developmental perspective, begin with “tummy time” as soon as you get home from the hospital. A few minutes a day with supervision will really strengthen your baby’s head and neck muscles, and he will begin holding his head up after the first couple of weeks. This developmental position is crucial for your baby’s development of motor skills, as well as increasing the tactile awareness of your baby’s cheeks, which helps with oral-motor skills.

Belly Time: by Center of Development Pediatric Therapies

Creeping & Crawling - One of the Most Important Developmental Milestones
Educators often hear from therapists, "When in doubt, crawl, crawl, crawl!" It seems from the onset, crawling is an amazing developmental activity that translates into all kinds of academic success. The importance of a long crawling and creeping period in development is often overlooked by Pediatricians and parents as they don't know the vital importance of this developmental milestone and impact later on in life. As Occupational Therapists, we see children daily that have poor reading skills, can't crossing midline, have decreased trunk stability, and poor writing and fine motor skills all due to short or missed belly time! Infants should spend as much time as possible on their bellies from the time they can turn their head at a few weeks when playing. Try not to put babies in supported sitting, car seats, entertainers, walkers, and Johnny jumpers more than 30 minutes a day, as them getting on their bellies sooner will prevent a myriad of developmental and learning delays later in development!

Doing this activity even through older ages helps in all areas of development:

  • Calms by activating heavy work receptors in the muscles and joints
  • Continues to calm by building muscles that help breathing
  • Helps children sit in chairs by building back and stomach muscles
  • Coordinates two body sides so hand specialization is more likely to occur
  • Improves handwriting by developing shoulder, arm, and wrist stability
  • Helps develop fine-motor coordination as it builds the arches of the hand
  • Decreases touch sensitivities by deep input and rubbing the floor
  • Integrates many of the primitive reflexes, integration of these reflexes is vital to gaining higher motor skills
  • Strengthens trunk, shoulder and arm strength which is needed to sit and attend
  • Sets up the communication in the brain across the midline of the brain which is needed for reading skills to occur
Tummy Time Tips from AOTA.