Tummy time

Here is some excellent advice on Tummy Time from the HSE website mychild.ie https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/child-health/tummy-time-for-babies.html

Getting your baby to lie and play on their tummy keeps them active. Tummy time helps to strengthen their head, neck and back muscles, and lets them experience feeling on the front of their body.

Your baby needs to be physically active several times each day.

Read more about how play can help your baby’s learning and development

A firm and flat surface

Place your baby on a firm and flat surface for tummy time. During the day you can place your baby on their tummy with their hands out at either side to support themselves. You must stay close to your baby while they’re in this position.

Always place your baby on their back if they fall asleep during tummy time, to reduce the risk of cot death.

Your baby shouldn’t be inactive or in a restricted position for longer than 1 hour, except when sleeping.

Ways to do tummy time

The images and information below has been reproduced from pathways.org.

Here are some ways to put tummy time into your baby’s routine.


Lie down on the floor, sofa or a bed. You can lie flat or prop yourself up on pillows. Place your baby on your chest or tummy so that you’re face-to-face. Always hold your baby firmly for safety.

Tummy to tummy

Eye-level smile

Encourage eye contact by getting down to your baby’s level.

You can roll up a blanket and place it under their chest and upper arms for support.

Eye-level smile

Lap soothe

Place your baby face-down across your lap when holding or winding (burping).

Place a hand on your baby’s bottom to help calm them.

Lap soothe

Tummy-down carry

Carry your baby ‘tummy down’. To do this, slide one hand between your baby’s legs and stomach. Use other hand to support baby’s head and neck. Nestle your baby close to your body for comfort and support.

Tummy down carry

Tummy minute

Place your baby on their tummy for 1 or 2 minutes every time you change them.

Tummy minute

Visit pathways.org for more information on tummy time

For more advice on everything to do with your baby/toddler see https://www2.hse.ie/my-child/

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        Short videos on the Importance of Play have recently launched which was a collaboration between North Central CFSN and Lifestart Services.   Volume 1 https://youtu.be/xl2F2vZXhbg Volume 2 https://youtu.be/OOy4lmWggtM Volume 3 https://youtu.be/tmv40--l7fA Volume 4 https://youtu.be/Wr9bfTWddts Volume 5 https://youtu.be/7HLkBXvVTFE Volume 6 https://youtu.be/NuUXb51qZY0

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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