A question that we frequently get asked is, "Is tummy time important?" and we would say yes, tummy time is so important. Babies need tummy time to practice using their neck and their shoulder muscles. They need tummy time to start to push up on their arms, and get them ready for crawling. It also helps later with speech development and feeding skills.
An easy way to incorporate tummy time into your daily routine is doing it after diaper changes. You have to change your baby's diaper! So after you're done, just flip them over and try it for a minute or so. As they're able to start tolerating more time on their stomach, then you can start increasing the amount of time that you have them there. You can also try alternative positioning. If your child really doesn't like being flat on the floor you can do 'Tummy-to-Tummy' where they're facing you, and you position them on your stomach. Something else you can try is rolling up a towel and putting it under their chest and under their arms, just to give them some extra support.
There are theories about whether or not crawling is an essential milestone for babies and we as therapists think that this is absolutely a milestone that should be heavily encouraged for your baby. Crawling is teaching an alternating pattern that is essential for kids to learn weight-shifting so that they're able to pull to stand on surfaces and stand independently. And that alternating pattern is needed with walking as well. Something that we might not consider crawling being linked to is fine motor skills, such as using utensils to feed yourself and also writing skills that you'll need later in life.
If you notice your baby is three months old and they're still not tolerating any type of tummy time, and they're constantly crying, you might want to contact Achieva Early Intervention and we can certainly help.