21 answers

Tummy Time - Frisco,TX

Anyone have any ideas for tummy time? I feel my 10 week old son needs to spend some more time on his tummy to strengthen his neck muscles and prevent his head from getting flat. The problem is that he cries when I put him down on his stomach. I've even tried putting him on a baby boppy pillow, this helps but he still doesn't go for longer than 5 minutes before starting fuss. I also put him in a baby bijorn facing outward, but he looks like a bobble head doll.

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So What Happened?™

First let me say how much I LOVE this website - it's so great to be able to "talk" with other moms!! Thank you to everyone who responded...What great ideas!! I didn't realize that having him in my carrier/sling and holding him on my belly can be considered tummy time! I can definitely do 5 minutes tummy time per hour awake - that's a realistic goal! In fact, we just did 5 minutes of airplane, 5 minutes on my belly, and 5 minutes of dancing with me holding him over my shoulder! And he LOVES to nap on mommy and daddy's chest!
I love the LaMaze spin mat, I've never seen anything like it before - Thanks for the idea! When he's on his activity mat, I also get down on my belly to play and that seems to prolong his contentment...especially with a mirror!
Thank you all for your encouragement and excellent ideas - I really appreciate all of you!

Featured Answers

I think 2-3 minutes a few times a day at 10 weeks old is plenty of tummy time. Don't push it! As long has he's not laying on his back 100% of the time, he'll be fine. If you play with him, hold him, move him from bed to car seat to floor, he's getting the movement and stimulation he needs.

K.-
Good for you. Most infants cry and don't want tummy time. You can get a small beach ball and roll him on it. They do this in Gymboree classes. Better yet, try out a class free and buy the beach ball from them for a few bucks.

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K.,

I was lucky my daughter quickly adjusted to tummy time and learned to love it. One suggestion is to lay you son on your chest as part of tummy time. It can be a great bonding time for the two of you and he might enjoy it more. Once he gets use to being on his tummy you can use a mat on the floor more often.

1 mom found this helpful

K., Your responses are great & you have lots of ideas. I think many moms can attest to infants not liking time on their tummies - with my 4 mo old will still call it "tummy torture," but know it is good for him. Keep building the minutes and the opportunities. ;o) Good luck. -D.

Hi K.,

What I do with my 16wk old twin boys is put them on a soft blanket or pillow and get on the floor with them. I'll put toys in front of them to get their attention. They really seem to like that. I also play music for them and I will sometimes lay down in front of them to get their attetion. That seems to help. If your son only does it for 5 mins then just increase the time every so often. Also, when holding him try not to cradle him put him up on your shoulder and see if he will try to lift his head that way. Last thing get in front of a mirror and hold him facing the mirror and see if he'll try to look in the mirror.

Try not to get frustrated. Be creative! It is most important to find what works for you and baby.

Hope that helped

Bre

We had this problem as well!

First see if your baby can turn his head from side to side.
Lay him on the floor and call him or make a funny sound to one side and do this again to the other side.

This is to find out if he may have Torticollis...if he cant which we found out at 2 months with our daughter...tummy time may be causing him discomfort.

What we did is tried just a few secs of Tummy Time and then would try a few more and more until she would get upset.

I also would lay her on her back on hold her little hands and slowly pull her up trying to get her to lift her head. Only lift a little bit at first until gets enough neck streangth.

I would also sit my daughter on my lap and only hold her hands so she would have to work on balance. She was able to sit on her own by 5 months because of this.

Although my daughter did still end up with flattening due to the torticollis where her head could only turn one way and with Therapy we fixed her neck and with a DOC Band we fixed her head and face.

I would try while on the Tummy put musical toys and light up toys in from of him to get him to look up and make it fun. Once he gets upset - Stop.

You can also lay him on your chest and have him look up at mommy...my little one loved that!

Good Luck

Dear K.,

You are wise to invest in tummy time for your son. It will do all the things you are concerned about and MUCH more. Tummy time is CRITICAL to brain development and to mobility. I spend much of my professional time helping families whose children did not get the amount of tummy time they needed. BTW, you should push for every possible moment on his tummy. It is truly THAT important.

Some suggestions to help:

Consider getting a piece of naugahyde on the floor so he will have something that is soft, yet he can easily push off with his feet. Once is he moving around, his frustration will be much less.

Also consider that babies do not have very strong respiration yet, their crying is sometimes a way to rev up their respiration so their muscles have enough oxygen to move. It's similar to how you take some deep breaths before you attempt a big physical feat.

Be on the floor with him and reward him with tons of affections and spinning and twirling and up and down when you pick him up. Tell him how great it is for him to be learning to move his arms and legs and how great it's going to be when he can motor all around the house.

If he can be there for five minutes, try to encourage him to be there just a little bit longer each day. Give him MANY MANY opportunities each day---even twenty plus. As you gradually increase the amount of time he is on his stomach moving (or learning to move), you can gradually decrease the number of session.

Please feel free to email me if you want more information or help with this. I would be glad to do so.

www.parentswithpurpose.com

D., Mom to 8

Try putting him on your chest or you can place him on your legs like that airplane game (you on your back with your knees pulled in to your chest, he will on your lower legs).

When you have him over the Boppy, place a baby safe mirror (Sassy makes one that can lay flat or propped up) where he can see himself. My kiddos loved being able to see themselves.

Avoid facing him forward in a carrier until his neck muscles are stronger. Until then, face him toward your chest.

I used the knogging nook (spelling??) from babies r us. i put her to sleep on her back with this under her head. that helped us with her head. as for tummy time - we had a similar issue and she turned out just fine. Do what you can and the baby will tolerate.

Heres a good link for some ideas on different ways to get a baby some tummy time, and keep him happy in the process.
http://www.orthomerica.com/pdf/tummytimetools.pdf

My advice---wear him as much as you can. Look up info on babywearing---every time you'd put him down to do chores, etc, wear him instead while you are doing it. That helps a lot. (10 weeks is a little young for facing outward---you may want to wait a while on that).

Also--don't give up. My baby girl only lasted 5 minutes each time when she was younger but I kept giving her tummy time and would just pick her up as soon as she protested. She is now 5 months old and LOVES tummy time.

I bought this very cute and wonderful tummy time toy that I highly recommend as I feel it really helped. It keeps the baby up so that he/she can look down at the toys without having stuff right in their face. It really taught my baby to lift her head and look around, greatly strengthening her neck and back. Lamaze spin and explore garden gym http://www.learningcurve.com/product/detail/LC27100?local...
Here's another (more boyish) version of the same thing.
http://www.learningcurve.com/product/detail/LC27121?local...
Once they grow out of the spinning part the floor mat is still facinating--it's high quality and easily folds up to put out of the way--doesn't take up much space. Mine just grew out of the spinner part as she is rolling over like crazy and wants to roll off of it.

Good luck!

My kids also liked the Sassy mirror.

Here are a few other ideas:
- Roll up a receiving blanket and put it under his arms. It won't be too big and will help him prop up.
- Take a square couch/chair cushion and prop him up (although, he may need to be a little older to do this).

My twins hated tummy time, but if he will go for 5 minutes to start that is great. He will slowly build up, and you are a good mom for trying to make sure that he gets it!

Tummy time is important, unfortunately they all seem to hate it at first. I would lie on my back and put my son on my stomach. He would survive that just find. Also, putting some interesting toys in front of him helped. Keep in mind, these can be things from around your house too like measuring spoons, etc. I had a therapist friend tell me that 5 minutes per waking hour was a good idea. Good luck!

K.
My baby is 6wks going on 7 and she does the same thing your baby does. She hates being on her tummy. I read through the responses that other mamas made to your concern and I tried it too and she did great when i laid on the floor and put her on my chest. Now hopefully this works and tummy time will be great.

First congratulations on your new baby! All 3 of my children would cry too during tummy time. But I would keep trying a couple times of day for a just a few minutes at a time. You will see how he improves and gets used to it. Good luck!

K.-
Good for you. Most infants cry and don't want tummy time. You can get a small beach ball and roll him on it. They do this in Gymboree classes. Better yet, try out a class free and buy the beach ball from them for a few bucks.

5 minutes is great. My daughter hated tummy time, so I made up a tummy-time song with lots of dancing and clapping, and that got us through 5 minutes at a time, anyway. My pediatrician said what someone else's therapist said--5 minutes per waking hour is sufficient. I love the idea of the Sassy mirror on the floor. Wish I had thought of that one.

I put my son flat on the floor with this Playskool dome-shaped light up toy that I borrowed from my sister. She found it at a resale shop for her daughter. You press this bar toward the floor to make these light-up pictures spin around and music plays. My son would always look up for it, and before long, he was even reaching to push the bar down himself.
Keep an eye out for something like that that will really keep his attention, and he'll keep his head up for sure!

I think 2-3 minutes a few times a day at 10 weeks old is plenty of tummy time. Don't push it! As long has he's not laying on his back 100% of the time, he'll be fine. If you play with him, hold him, move him from bed to car seat to floor, he's getting the movement and stimulation he needs.

My kids didn't like tummy time much either BUT they loved it when they were wiggling their way up my chest or their father's. Lay back on the couch and let your little one lay tummy to tummy with you or dad. I used dad b/c my boobs got in the way of their wiggling.. hehe. added plus is that baby is near you!

You're doing the right thing. Just let him try it a couple of times each day. The sessions will get longer and longer. It's not a big deal though. The BEST way to prevent flat head though is to hold your baby 24/7. Wear him in a wrap or just carry, carry, carry! It is so bonding as well!

all kids that I have met love the baby einstein tummy time play mat. It is a big hit. Though it's kind of expensive (maybe $50?) 5 minutes is such a great start! Just keep at it a little bit everyday. I always used the rolled up recieving blanket under their chest and arms. it seems to work better than the boppy.

5 minutes to start is great. My kiddo hated tummy time, but laying her on my chest to play airplane helped a lot. It will take time to figure out what your baby likes. Don't stress about it, you're doing the right thing by encouraging trunk and neck strength and development. If he's on his tummy, try being on your tummy in front of him. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! 5 minutes or even 2 a couple of times a day is a wonderful start, and he's so little that I'm sure most Moms would think you have a wonder-kid on your hands!
E. K.

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