Tummy Time is simply the time that babies spend lying and playing on their tummies and off their backs while they are awake. This time is invaluable to babies and has a ton of positive outcomes that can be great for your child. We’ve written about:
The truth is that Tummy Time is very important but it can be a challenge to over come your child’s protest of Tummy Time.
3 Challenges Regarding Tummy Time
1. It’s hard to get babies to play on their tummies. Before a baby can pull himself up-lying face down isn’t much fun. It’s boring and babies protest. Parents may stop doing Tummy Time.
2. Babies initially resist Tummy Time because they don’t have good control and find it hard to lift their heads. They cry. Parents may stop doing Tummy Time.
3. Because babies spend so much time on their backs sleeping, the Tummy Time position is not familiar to them and they protest because it is an unusual position. Parents may stop doing Tummy Time.
8 ways Parents Can Overcome the Challenges of Tummy Time
1. Start early, working Tummy Time into your daily routine. Example: give your baby a minute of Tummy Time after most diaper changes. Your baby will come to expect some prone positioning (tummy down) each time he is changed and will eventually enjoy it because he has become used to it.
2. Offer alternative positions in addition to prone (tummy down) and switch back and forth.
3. Join your baby on the floor for Tummy Time.
4. Use distraction with bright toys or a mirror.
5. Provide entertainment….make it fun.
6. Prop with boppy, rolled towel or firm pillow under the chest while providing support and firm pressure with your hand to the back of her bottom.
7. Tune into your baby. Experiment and notice which positions and props work best. Baby may need to suck a pacifier during Tummy Time for soothing.
8. Use music and movement. (Example: Dance to the airplane dance in the Tummy Time position, do the “tummy time dance.”)
Join our “First Weeks Group” for babies 0 – 6 months old to learn more about Tummy Time and other subjects that are important to your children’s growth and development. Our director, Marilee Harting, will be presenting a talk entitled ” the Importance of Tummy Time” during her Tummy Time Workshop at the Hollywood Pump Station later in March. Call or email the Pump Station to register for this workshop. Stay tuned for more information!
Marilee Hartling RN, MFT
Infant/Child Development Specialist
Licensed Child and Family Therapist