It has always been important for babies to spend some time on their tummies. While some babies take to it better than others, all babies need the muscle development that comes from being on their stomachs. Tummy time doesn’t need to be very long. Even two or three minutes on their stomachs can be beneficial for babies. But, what should you do if your baby doesn’t tolerate being placed on her stomach very well? Here are some options:
- Some babies don’t object to being laid down on their stomachs so much as being laid down at all. If your baby is craving contact with you, give it to her. You can still have a variation of tummy time by placing baby on her tummy across your lap or one of your legs while you are sitting on the floor.
- Another option is holding baby in the football hold. When you do this, you place baby’s tummy across your forearm. This helps baby get used to having some pressure on his stomach.
- Try lying down on the floor with baby, facing each other. Some babies who fuss and cry when they are set on their stomachs will calm down if you are down on the floor with them and they can see you eye to eye.
Since the 1990s, tummy time has increasingly been seen as an important part of baby’s day. Part of this is because it helps prevent flat spots from developing on the back of baby’s head. With the increasing focus on making sure babies sleep only on their backs, more babies have developed flat spots.
Of course, it is widely accepted that back sleeping is the healthiest way for an infant to sleep, and no one is seriously disputing that. But that simply highlights the importance of making sure baby does get some time on her tummy when she is awake.
In most cases, spending tummy time with your baby doesn’t present any problems. Most babies like being on their tummies for short periods of time, especially if they are placed don top of a favorite blanket and something interesting, such as a favorite rattle or toy, are placed within their reach.