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What do babies need to thrive

Introduction to ‘What babies need to thrive’

In this sprint you will develop the following knowledge: 

  • I can describe responsive parenting/interaction/play. 
  • I can provide advice re the benefits of products that can enhance and promote physical proximity and interaction/face to face positioning (e.g. the use of slings, backward facing pushchairs etc). 
  • I can promote physical development through ‘Tummy Time’. 

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Watch the video below and make notes about responsive parenting with regards to baby’s brain development.


Develop your understanding of ‘What babies need to thrive’

You have learnt about responsive parenting. Now you can consider the role of tummy time.  

Tummy time is giving your baby a small amount of time lying on their tummy while they are awake, so that they can get used to being in this position. It lets them explore the different ways they can move their head, limbs and neck. 

It’s dangerous to put babies down to sleep on their tummy however, so make sure they’re wide awake for tummy time.

Watch this video and make notes about the 5 tummy time methods.


The NHS recommends tummy time as a way to build muscles that your baby will eventually need for sitting and crawling. By stretching and moving in the tummy-down position, your baby will strengthen their back, neck and shoulder muscles. They will also improve their general coordination as they get used to being in a different position. This type of development – the ability to make big movements of the whole body – is often called gross motor skills. 

<undefined>Tiny Happy People – BBC</undefined>

Tiny Happy People. BBC

You can read more about tummy time using the link above.


Reflect upon ‘What babies need to thrive’

You have considered the role of responsive parenting and the importance of tummy time. Next you can consider the role of play in child development. 

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, and the Committee on Communications, and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health; The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. Pediatrics January 2007; 119 (1): 182–191. 10.1542/peds.2006-2697

Read the section ‘The benefits of play’ in the abstract below to explore the adults role in the play interactions and how play benefits children. 
You can also use the link above to read the article in full.