"My Baby Hates Tummy Time": Some Tips for a Common Concern

Tummy time, or giving baby time to play on her stomach, is an important building block in a baby’s gross motor (big muscle) development. It increases the strength of the neck and back muscles that baby will use to roll and crawl. In addition, getting baby off the back of her head decreases the risk of positional plagiocephaly , or “flat head.”

If your baby seems to “hate” tummy time, remember that even seconds of tummy time at frequent intervals throughout the day will slowly begin to increase the endurance and strength of the back and neck. Seconds will turn to minutes as continued opportunities for tummy time occur. Don’t give up!

If your baby just cries when placed on the floor on her belly, try some alternative positions:

  • Hold baby in your arms, on her belly, as you walk around the house.
  • Lay down on your back, and spend time chest-to-chest with your baby.
  • Burp baby on your lap while she is laying on her belly.

And, use some favorite tummy time toys to distract baby during her play:

  • Prop baby’s torso with a nursing pillow to get her face away from the floor.
  • Use a mirror or picture book of human faces to engage her glance.
  • Use simple rattles and high-contract toys to catch her gaze and encourage her to lift her head.
  • YOU are the best toy - get down on your tummy to play with her!

Enjoy brief, simple, and frequent tummy time with your baby when she is awake and ready to play. When it is time to rest, however, please remember to place her on her back to sleep.

If you have any other tips to share with other parents about tummy time, please add in the comments below.

For more information:

Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play from www.healthychildren.org