Tummy Time Nightmare

Andrea - posted on 01/05/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My 18 week old daughter absolutely hates being on her tummy. She immediately starts screaming. I'm afraid if she doesn't spend enough time on her tummy she won't figure out how to roll over. Has anyone else gone through this and overcome it? Any suggestions?

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Vicki - posted on 01/09/2009

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Hi Andrea, tummy time is a bit of a myth! I have never put my baby in tummy time. But I do know that she will gain the strength  in her neck and back to roll over etc, and then when she can roll over she will have the strength to hold herself on her tummy. Have you ever seen a 5 year old going to school with a floppy neck? They all get there in the end. 



Your daughter probably cries because she hates it and is uncomfortable. Sometimes if we put ourselves in these postions so we know how babies may feel - can you imagine not being able to move your arms and legs (when that is the only thing you can move) not being able to take a deep breath, crashing your head of the floor constantly as you struggle to control your not 'ready yet' neck muscles!! Sorry I don't mean to harp on but I am an advocate to 'no tummy time' until they can get there on their on their own. hope this puts your mind at rest and trust that your little one will get there.

Heather - posted on 01/09/2009

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my middle child hated being on her tummy! she hated being on the floor period! i would actually just put her down on my chest and lean back (we had a recliner so she was still partially eleveated). she learned to roll over from laying on me and my hubby. it worked well for her and she was about right on schedule. she's now 3 and isn't delayed at all and even may be a little ahead of other kids her age!

Antje - posted on 01/09/2009

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Colin was on his tummy from being 3 weeks old and was able to lift his head the first time at 4 weeks. I think that made it easier for him, since his head was not that heavy and he was able to lift it easier. Doesn't help you though...But I noticed, that he can hold his head much longer, when he is curious and busy. His toys help, but also a magazine he can destroy and what he really loves is run his nails over surfaces and make noise. The changing table is a favorite as the fabric makes the loudest noise...I lay that changing pillow (don't know the right english word) on the floor and he will play for 30 min not getting tired...) When he is naked, he likes it even better!

Eryn - posted on 01/08/2009

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Try laying on your back with the baby on her tummy on top of you.  She will probably really like to see you and play with your face.  Or even do little games with her laying on your shins when you are laying down.  Does that make sense?!  My daughter loves it and doesn't even know she's having tummy time!

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jp was the same way and one day he just lifted his head. how is she lifting her head when ur holding her? i think that's really how jp gained all his head strength.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/05/2009

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My son does the same thing. He is slowly getting used to it, and most of the time I can get him to be on his tummy for a full 5 minutes before he starts crying. Its a bit easier now that he got a bunch of toys for Christmas, so he has a bunch of things to look at and try to grab.

Danni - posted on 01/05/2009

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My son really didn't like tummy time to begin with. Which is strange because he had very bad reflux and wind at the start and we actually had to go against all the SID's precautions and sleep him on his stomach as it was the only was he could sleep comfortably. But playtime he preffered being on his back. So I would leave him on his back until he was getting sick of it and a bit whingey, then i would put him on his tummy. Just the change of scenery after being sick of being on his back was enough to get him interested in tummy time for a little bit each time. Once he got over tummy time I would pick him up or put him to bed, whatever it was he needed. When on his playmat again would always start on back then flip to tummy when he got grizzley again, and steadily over time he actually enjoys tummy time more now and learned to roll over! So that would be my suggestion - let her play in the position she prefers until just starting to grizzle, then flip straight onto tummy and see how she goes.

Karen - posted on 01/05/2009

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My daughter hated it at first, and still isn't crazy about it for long periods of time. I would put her on her tummy and let her cry for a few minutes - usually about 5 minutes or less if I felt really bad about the crying. The other thing I tried to do is have her lay on my chest while I was reclined in a recliner - that way she was not flat on her tummy, but she would still have to push up on her arms to see me. That worked pretty well, and she didn't fuss that much. For about the past month, she has been able to roll over from stomach to back, so now when she starts to fuss on her tummy, I won't turn her over - eventually, she does it herself.

There's a great tool out there on different holding positions, etc. that encourage the development you get from tummy time - www.orthomerica.com/pdf/tummytimetools.pdf

Joy - posted on 01/05/2009

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My first son HATED tummy time. I thought he would stop breathing he would get so mad. I worked with him a little at a time. I would put him on his tummy, put toys around him and let him play or look. Sometimes I would play with him and sometimes I would sit close by. He continued to hate it. I would let him cry it out a little and then when he was getting too worked up I would pick him up before he became insecure. We did this several times a day. He eventually rolled over and was walking by nine months. Hang in there, some babies are okay with it and some are not. My middle son had no problem with it but my youngest son hates it as well!

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