Moms often say their babies wail during tummy time, but experts insist it's key for development. What to do? Start early. "A newborn's head grows significantly in the first month," says Judy Towne Jennings, a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. "If her neck muscles don't strengthen and grow during this period as well, tummy time will be much harder." Here's how to make it easier:
First week: Rest your newborn on your chest while she's awake. That counts!
Second week: A few times a day, when your tot is happy (post-feeding, post-nap), put her on her tummy on the floor for a minute -- or even just 15 seconds! Lie down, too, to keep her company.
Third week and beyond: Think of tummy time as just another way to position your baby. When you fold laundry, instead of strapping her into her bouncy seat, have her lie on the floor next to you. Put a toy within reach to motivate her to look up. Aim to do tummy time several times a day, a few minutes each time; if she reaches 30 minutes per day, she's a champ!