Tommy time!

Published by : | November 13 2019

Evolution of the prone position (Tommy Time)!

The ventral position is essential to the good motor development of the child.  The baby needs to be positioned on the belly from the first weeks of life. 

In the first 3 months, the position will be non-functional for the young baby and he will focus mainly on straightening his head and turning it.

At 3 months, he will start to support on his forearms and raise his head more sustainably.  Your young baby can now turn his head on either side with a slight extension of the neck.  He begins to transfer his weight to each side and to awaken the different muscles of his trunk, his shoulders, his pectorals and his upper back (shoulder girdle).

At 4 months, he is now able to hold his head at 90° in the center and he takes good support on his forearms.  He has a nice dorsal and lumbar extension. He also starts to roll from his belly —  back, often by accident.

At 5 months, he starts pushing on his hands with the elbows in extension (mini push-up) and making a reach (try to catch a toy in front of him) without falling sideways.  The roll from back — belly appears and it is more and more used. The top of his body begins to dissociate himself from his pelvis. We’re approaching crawling!!

At 6 months, your baby is now doing a beautiful push-up on her arms! In addition, because of a better control at the hips, he starts to push himself into the 4-legged position.  Your little treasure can even begin to move to the ground, especially by swiveling on itself and rolling back — belly and belly — back.

At 7 months, the ventral position should now be his preferred position!!!  Crawling, swiveling and going backward on the belly should be part of his daily routine. He should easily take the 4-legs position and rock.  In addition, some babies start initiating the 4-legged walk (some will dive a bit on their nose!).

At 8 months, your baby should spend his waking hours wanting to explore his surroundings!  The 4-legged walk should be started and your toddler should also be able to sit alone from the ventral position.  It is also at this time that he began to have an interest in standing by holding onto lower furniture.

Some medical conditions may explain the difficulty of appreciating this position in some children, including:

1) Prematurity.

2) Hypotonia/Hypertonia.

3) Congenital Torticollis.

4) Vestibular or tactile sensory alteration.

5) Muscular weakness of the upper limbs and shoulder girdle.


Why is it so important that my baby is placed on the belly?

In case I have not been clear enough, THE VENTRAL POSITION IS ESSENTIAL to the good development of the neck muscles, upper limbs, pectorals, back, abdominals and even lower limbs.  It brings a lot of information at the sensory, proprioceptive and vestibular levels.

It allows the child to develop and balance his muscular strength between the extensors and the flexors, allowing him to roll, crawl, take and walk on 4 legs, sit, stand up and eventually walk!

If your baby does not like to be placed on the belly, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a physiotherapist in pediatrics.  A full evaluation will be done to see the reasons behind your child’s discomfort in exploring the ventral position. There are several ways to stimulate and induce the child to increase his tolerance on the belly, so that his overall motor development is harmonious and optimal!


To the pleasure of playing on the belly with your little one!

Julie Lamarre

Physiothérapeute en pédiatrie More from same author

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