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What Do I Do If My Baby Hates Tummy Time?

Tummy time can be a fun way to interact and play with your new baby.

For them, it is a time of discovery and development while for the parents it can be an exciting time, watching their little one learn about the world around them while strengthening their little bodies. But there are times that this experience may not be as joyful as it sounds. Many are the babies that find this practice quite distressful and can get really upset during its course.

One of our eumom members has reached out to us and the moms on our Facebook page looking to hear some advice on this matter, as her 15 weeks old baby boy really doesn't like tummy time. She is worried that his lack of interest in tummy time will lead to him developing"flat head”. You may or may not have heard about it before, but flat head is a condition that may occur when a baby spends too much time lying on their back. Tummy time can help not only this, but also helps young babies to strengthen the neck, shoulders and back muscles while promoting coordination and motor development. Our members really got on board sharing their own experiences and words of encouragement, as many of them have been through the same before.

 

Something similar happened with my son, the minute I turned him on his tummy he would start to cry

 

(Marta Izabela Badura, Facebook)

Tummy time pillows can be an easy way to start introducing tummy time for short periods to your baby, as they can lay on it until they are used to being only on their tummy. An alternative way is to roll up a towel and use it as a cushion.

 

Place baby on his tummy with arms and head over the rolled towel, just a minute at a time, as the towel should hold him up

 

(Claire Browne Walsh, Facebook)

Play mats with small rattles and other toys attached were also highly recommended by our members. When on the floor, why not place a small baby mirror in front of your baby, as at this stage they love to look at themselves. Carrying them in a baby sling/wrap or in a carrier can also work as tummy time as it helps to strengthen and tone the muscles of the back, and improve head control.

 

I have to say slings are great and are classed as tummy time too

 

(Tara Northcott Kelly, Facebook)

If none of these alternatives work for you, why not try to do “tummy time on your tummy” as suggested by our member Carla NĂ­ Ghearlann:

 

Put him lying on you while you lie flat on the floor.

 

If your baby really doesn’t like to do tummy time on the floor, higher are the chances that they will enjoy doing it on your chest or tummy.

 

My little boy didn’t like tummy time on the floor, but he loves it on top of my chest

 

(Jessamine McGonigle, Facebook)

Always make sure your little one is supervised at all times and try to avoid tummy time after they have just been fed, or if they are hungry or tired as it might put them off. And most of all:

 

Don’t be too nervous, just watch your child and see what they like the best, relax and enjoy together

 

(Tatjana Gzhybovska, Facebook).

And don’t forget, if you have any concerns always talk to your doctor or to a specialist.

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About the Author

As a graduated journalist with several years of experience, I working as a press officer in the private sector and for different government agencies in Brazil. Over seven years ago, I had a career change and have been working within the childcare sector since then. Currently, I am in the process of completing my qualification in Early Childhood Education, while being a part of the eumom team.

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