- Tummy time should never be done on an elevated surface. Even though your babies aren't rolling over yet, you should always use caution and set the babies on the floor for tummy time. Babies can flip over quickly by kicking their legs while on their tummies. You should always supervise tummy time as well. Safety first, always.
- Tummy time is very important for increasing neck strength. With newborns, don't expect much in the way of action before 2 months of age. They may be able to just raise their heads for a very short amount of time—but even if it's only for a few seconds, it allows them to turn for a different view of the world and to gain strength. The muscles in the back of your babies' necks will strengthen greatly by 4 months of age. The babies will be able to hold up their heads and chests and support themselves on their elbows. They will gain freedom and control to look in all directions at will instead of looking at just a mobile hanging overhead or the ceiling.
- Tummy time also increases leg strength. Your babies will try to scissor kick and at times may surprise themselves (and you!) by flipping over to their backs.
- Lack of tummy time can cause some flattening of the back of the head and also some decreased strength of the shoulder muscles. Avoid these issues by placing infants on their tummies for play periods on a daily, scheduled basis so that you get into the routine as well.
- Incorporating visual stimulation can make tummy time interesting. Place your twins on a brightly colored blanket, activity mat, or even just a colored sheet. For added visual stimulation, lie next to the twins so they can see your face or lay your twins so that they are facing one another.
- The preferred position for sleeping babies is on their backs, but once your twins learn to roll over, they may prefer their tummies. Don't panic! This is okay—at the age of rolling—so long as you do not have any soft bedding or stuffed animals in the crib. Once your twins sit up without assistance, you may place a few toys in the crib. (Bonus tidbit: Once your babies are sitting up, pulling up will soon become a regular occurrence, so lower the crib mattress down when they first sit up and it is fresh in your mind.)
Nurse Chickie, The Twin Source house RN, has almost three decades of nursing experience beginning with pediatrics in 1982, and more love for her "grandbabies" than two little twins can handle.
Always remember, the information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.