28 answers

Tummy Time? - Miami,FL

Hi Moms,
I keep hearing about the importance of tummy time? My 3 months old hates it......I feel horrible making him do it... I usually can only do up to 5 minutes at a time. How important is tummy time? It seems like 'research shows' that you must do everything your kid hates. LOL! (rear-facing carseats, sleep on their backs......etc...)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't think there's a need to force the issue for more then a few minutes at a time. The benefit of a little tummy time is that after awhile they start pulling their upper body up to look around. It strengthens those muscles that will get them ready for creeping, and crawling. Just do it off and on throughout the day. He'll enjoy it more once he does start trying to move around. I used to get down on the floor next to my kids, with my face at their level. They really liked that.

Tummy time prevents a flat head and builds muscles in the neck and the muscles to look left and right as well. IF all he will do if 5 minutes at a time, then do just that. Give him 5 minutes and then move him to something else. Then later do another 5 minutes again, it will take time but it will do well. I had to learn that too :)

We hardly ever did tummy time and my kid is fine. She also didn't have much interest in it when she was that young. Short periods of time make sense. You are doing great!

More Answers

Wearing them in a sling helps strengthen the same muscles tummy time does. And they find it more pleasant usually. If you're holding and wearing them a lot, I wouldn't stress so much about tummy time.

My understanding is that tummy time became recommended because babies were spending so much time on their backs- sleeping on their backs, being fed on their backs, hanging out in carseat carriers, swings, and basically every baby device designed so that you don't have to hold your baby. As a result, babies were getting flat heads and delayed on things like crawling.

I imagine if your baby is not spending 90% of his day on his back, he'll be ok. ;)

When my son was that age he hated tummy time too. I couldn't get him to do it for more than a minute. He would get so upset that I just didn't worry about forcing it on him. He's almost 2 now and I can't see where is caused him any problems from not doing tummy time. In fact he's met most milestones early, even starting to walk at 9-1/2 months. My advice is, if he's fine in every other way, then don't stress yourself out or upset him just to follow "the rules" that everyone else says you need to follow. (with the exception of safety rules - car seat, etc.) Each child is unique and they go at their own pace (and sometimes by different approaches)to reach the next step in their development. And remember, these "rules" are just recommendations - go with your instincts and find the path that works for you.

P.S. We found that if we laid on the floor or the bed and had him on our chest that he would tolerate tummy time a little better and he'd lift his head to look at us. (it didn't always work but it was better then when he was laid on a blanket by himself)

I don't think there's a need to force the issue for more then a few minutes at a time. The benefit of a little tummy time is that after awhile they start pulling their upper body up to look around. It strengthens those muscles that will get them ready for creeping, and crawling. Just do it off and on throughout the day. He'll enjoy it more once he does start trying to move around. I used to get down on the floor next to my kids, with my face at their level. They really liked that.

What the heck is tummy time???
My daughter is 4 years old and wonderful ,despite a pretty rough start in life, and obviously no "tummy time'
can someone please explain ?

Its very important to develop there neck strength. Its also great to get them started on crawling. I always kept my daughter on the floor on a blanket and she started crawling at 5 months! Even though he hates it the 5 minutes is good. I was told that how ever many weeks they are thats how many minutes they should be on there belly for tummy time. It was either for 2 or 3 times a day. Fortunately my daughter had no problem with it and enjoyed to be on her belly. I also had this mat thing that converted 3 different ways. and the one way she was looking at a mirror and toys when on her belly. You may want to try and look for something like that to help. Good Luck!

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you give your child. The opportunity to move and integrate primitive reflexes. Let him get into flexion which is fetal position is all what he needs for reading and writing later on. It develops the vestibular system which is the sense of balance and integrates all the sensory systems and gets a child strong wnough to crawl which is also the most important step in getting the left and right brain hemishperes talking to each other. Don't let your child become another statistic that I see everyday. Every child has developmental issues wheter you can see them now or whether they become known at school age. MAKE him do tummy time for 30 minutes 4 times a day. Work your way up. Get down with him, make it fun with toys and books and your encouragement. If he doesn't like it he is already weak. When he gains strength he will like it. If you cannot get him to concede, then take him to occupational therapy where they can show you exercises. One thing you can do is take a small rolled up towel and place it under his nipple area to give hima little breathing room until he gets stronger. When he naps let him sleep on timmy so he can start experiencing that position and keep him out of chairs, Bumbos, exersaucers and jumpers. These retain reflexes which he is trying to integrate. Jump on this now at 3 months rather then have a child with learning differences. Also, NO EARLY WALKING! Not before 12 months. Weak children will get up and walk early because it is easier then crawling. THese children are definately at high risk you may not see until school. It is crucial for proper brain development and avoiding flat heads which damage the brain. Good luck.

Oh for heaven sake- your little boy will get on his tummy when he wants- what a silly thing to tell moms- take a look at all the people on this planet- they were all 3 months old at some time and grew up- and all the absurd things young moms are told now.
You are so correct-LOL- being told to do things your kids hate- maybe paying attention to our own innate knowledge- and that of our children and ignore the so called experts.
I think you already understand that- go for it. best, k

Hi M.,

I know what you mean! Just keep trying, but if he's crying don't force him. My kids hated tummy time, too. What you want to avoid is the whole flathead thing that happens when people leave their babies lying on their backs or in bouncy seats/carseats most of the time. Another way to help promote neck strength and avoid the flat head is to wear your baby in a sling or carrier. Here's some info on that:
http://infantstoddlers.suite101.com/article.cfm/guide_to_...

Enjoy your little one!

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