If there’s one thing my son hated when he was really little, it was spending time on his belly. Every minute he was on his tummy, he screamed. The doctor was telling me he needed at least two to three minutes about three times a day, but getting him to two minutes was a struggle. As he got older and we kept doing it, he started to like tummy time better, and now he spends a good chunk of his day on his tummy of his own accord. So, today, I’m sharing my tips for helping your baby to love tummy time.
If your baby absolutely hates tummy time, you’re going to want to slowly build up the amount of time they spend on their belly. This might take days and or even weeks. Start with just a minute or so, but do it multiple times a day. A little fussing is fine. If they start to really get upset, you can take them off their tummy.
Get down with them
This can be a fun way to engage with your child and a way to keep them calm if they’re not enjoying tummy time. Get down on the floor with them and talk to them. Encourage them and try to calm them down. My husband and I used to lay down on each side of my son, so we could go back and forth to encourage him to turn his head. Hearing our voices and having us close helped him.
Have fun toys, like a mirror
This is similar to you getting down with them and encouraging them. Give them a fun reason to look up. A nearby mirror is a great way to pique their interest and get them to engage with the world around them. Placing a toy in front of them works well, and an activity can help too. If you can get them curious and entertained, they’ll last longer on their tummy. I also saw a tip that putting down a strip of tin foil can be great for engaging them, so that could be worth a try.
Try tummy time on your belly
Early on, when tummy time turned my son into an absolute mess, I split his tummy time between his playmat and my belly. I would lay down and lay him down on top of me. I don’t think this method is as effective as using a firmer surface, but at least he was on his tummy! I would just talk to him and try and distract him. He seemed to do much better this way, and I just gradually stopped doing this as he got older and more used to spending time on his belly.
Supervised tummy time is crucial to a baby’s development. They need to strengthen those muscles and learn those skills, so they can develop physically. It also helps prevent flat head and encourages a baby to be more active. Keep making tummy time a part of your day, and be consistent. Even if they hate it, you know it’s for their own good. So, don’t give up!
Erin Lafond is a writer, website creator, and mom. She survived new motherhood by Googling things a lot, calling her mother, and embracing trial and error. Now, she shares her knowledge with all new moms. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and son (soon to be two sons!).