Baby Steps: Day 1

img_8887Get your newborn off to the best start with tummy time, tummy time, tummy time!

Aim for 15 minutes with 4 repetitions daily.

A great way to start is to put your baby tummy to tummy with you–but make sure you’re not so drowsy that you drift off and baby slides off.

Use a blanket or towel on the floor–not the bed or couch–newborns inch and scoot–so baby doesn’t tumble off.

Get eye to eye with baby if they fuss and encourage! Mix up the blanket: different colors, different textures! You already have textiles at home so you don’t need to buy anything.

Never leave baby unattended on their tummy.

Remember: Back to Sleep and Tummy to Play.

Tummy time helps develop strong core muscles. Using back and neck muscles, baby lifts their head. Pushing up with the upper arms will eventually lead to rolling.

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at,, and She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit
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