Learn why tummy time matters, and how to encourage tummy time when your baby hates spending time on their stomach. You might also like this post featuring 10 ways to help kids adjust to a new baby.
My youngest daughter Anna HATED tummy time. This is the face she gave me when we worked on it. Half the time I would give in and pick her up. How can you not, with this face?
Why Is Tummy Time Important?
It’s tempting to cancel tummy time altogether when you have a baby who feels like this about it!
But lying on their stomach is good for babies. It helps them build muscles.
Over time, spending time on their bellies helps babies learn to hold their head up, and then put their weight on their arms.
It’s the starting point for learning other important skills, like learning how to roll over and crawl.
As babies get better at tolerating time spent lying on their stomachs, they can explore the world around them.
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Tips for Helping Babies Who Don’t like to be on their Tummies
Get Down At Their Level During Tummy Time
Five-year-old Johnny knew that Anna is needed to spend more time on her tummy, and he made it his mission to make it fun for her.
Johnny understands about practicing to learn skills – he spent hours and hours working on speech. These days people comment on how beautifully he speaks, but it’s a skill he worked hard to develop!
Give Babies Something to Look At
Johnny got right down on the floor with this baby sister and found fun things for her to look at – like his birthday crown from school!
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a five-year-old in the house, try baby play floor mats like this fun baby play water mat.
Don’t want to buy yet another baby toy? That’s fine! Just spread some of your favorite baby toys on the floor around the baby.
Use Humor to Make Tummy Time Fun
My son did silly things to make her laugh. He also varied the ways he entertained her to keep her distracted from the fact that she was doing something she really doesn’t like!
Anna never did learn to love lying on her belly, but – thanks to my son’s help – she tolerated it, building the muscles she needed to roll over and learn other new skills.
This is just one of the ways in which it is easier to raise four children than one…
What are your top tips for helping reluctant babies tolerate tummy time?
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