Fight the Tummy Time!
If you have a babe like mine, tummy time lasts… oh a second or two before the piercing wails of your little one make your ear drums bleed, commanding you to cut this ridiculous behavior out! Yep, that was my Bean all the way.
Tummy time wasn’t tolerated for more than a few seconds at a time and no amount of toys, talking, or other engaging will suffice for an adequate amount of time experiencing. Oh what’s a mom to do?
Why it’s Important
Tummy time is important for the babies development for several reasons. First and foremost, of course, is the strengthening of their back and neck muscles which the baby will later will use to learn how to sit up… and stay sitting up.
Furthermore, tummy time will give the baby a new perspective in his or her world.Once Bean figured out that things look different from this angle she really loved her time on the tummy, but I am getting ahead of myself (more on this later). This alertness aids in visual development by helping a baby learn how to focus on an object and study it.
And if you’ve heard of the flat-head syndrome, also known as positional plagiocephaly, be warned, it is real! After all babies do spend most of their time laying down on their backs day and night. Their heads are susceptible to becoming flat due to their still hardening bones. This is a great way to help avoid this look.
Another reason this is a great way to help aid in your babies development is that, once mastered, it is a great stepping stone to further developmental milestones like sitting up and crawling.
Trouble Free Tummy Time
When to start?
This is an easy one. I was encouraged to start as soon as I brought my little girl home. So as soon as you, mom or dad, feel comfortable give it a go. Personally, I think it’s best to give them a day or so to help settle into our bright, loud world. Just a note though, before the two month period she will just lay there with her eyes darting back and forth. After the two month mark, you should begin to see her working to lift the head and move it from one side to another.
On a more detailed tip, don’t do tummy time right after a feeding. Wait at least 20 minutes after a meal before going ahead with the exercise.
How to start?
- ALWAYS have supervised tummy time.
- Wait 20-30 minutes after a feeding before doing tummy time.
You can start either by a.) placing the baby on a firm, clean surface with plenty of room (the middle of my bed is where we did it) to kick around or, and this is what I did, b.) place your baby on the surface where you’ll do tummy time and use physical touch to slowly help your baby roll onto his or her belly. I think the second option isn’t as traumatic as being in one position to all of a sudden being plopped down and left to my own baby devices, lol.
How long will it last?
Tummy time should last about 10-20 minutes per session with two sessions a day.
Tips on Getting Through the Crying #helpme
- Short sessions – every little bit counts!
- Offer distraction – place toys, books, rattles and anything else that seems to captivate your little one.
- Prop her up – put a pillow under the chest to cheat a little until they get more strength.
- Get involved – sometimes you’re the most fascinating thing to them so use that, lay in front of your babe and encourage her to work that little body
- Take a break and try again – if your baby is totally defiant – stop; come back to it again in a week or so.
When Nothing Works
Tummy Time Alternatives
When you do a search on your baby hating tummy time you will see hundreds, if not thousands (I haven’t looked that far), of posts and discussions about how their baby, too hates this activity. Well, that’s not exactly helpful. Then I though about the benefits of tummy time and the main one being muscle development.
So, with this in mind I realized that I was already doing the things that are great alternatives to tummy time. Those are:
- carrying her around upright (the ways she likes) or in a front carry baby sling
- laying her on your belly or shins while you’re laying down so it’s more personal
- the football hold works when your arms feel like they are going to fall off 😉
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