My baby HATES tummy time. What can I do???

Becky - posted on 12/16/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My baby is almost 4 months old now and she hates lying on her tummy. When she's very alert and playful, I lay her down on her tummy and she screams and cries. She never lasts more than a minute or two before I have to pick her up (I don't believe in letting babies cry - so that's not an option). I've tried putting her down on the following: a blanket on the floor and on our bed, my boppy, her tummy-time mat, my lap, my chest/stomach, her crib.....EVERYTHING! I can't think of anything else. My baby hates tummy time! She loves to play in her bouncy, walker and gym, but hates anything that has her belly down and she's been this way since birth. I thought it'd get better with time, but clearly that's not happening. I've even tried lying her down on her stomach during her naps (and yes I know the AAP recommends back sleeping which is clearly what we do anyway) but as soon as she's on her stomach, she wakes up crying. She can lift her head very well, but I'm afraid she'll never do a mini-pushup and possibly never learn to crawl if she won't tolerate lying on her stomach. Any suggestions to help my baby that hates tummy time???

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Julie - posted on 08/18/2011

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Hi bekie i wouldent worry my second grandaughter hated it to i dont see what the big deal is with tummy time we found she got distressed and just wouldent have it my daughter is like u dosent beleve in letting her cry as for not crawling she is 10 month and walking round furniture so dont worry we thought she was a bit clostrphobic and she hates been stuck between things now that shes into everything lol try not to worry as am sure shel be off crawling in no time.

Shannintipton - posted on 08/19/2011

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This post is sort of old so I am going to lock it. But thanks for your response. :)

Kyleigh - posted on 08/19/2011

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wow this is an old thread, but i would keep enforcing tummy time a little each day, if he/she fusses i picked my infant up, but i know it was getting better and putting toys on the floor in front of them to look at something and focus

Nikki - posted on 12/18/2009

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Most babies dislike tummy time becasue they can't see anything. Try to put her on an excersice ball (you will have to hold her there). The excersice ball elevates her to where she is off the ground and can see better. Plus, since she seems to like the upright position the excersice ball will allow you to roll her from an upright position to just a slight tilt to her tummy until she gets used to it.

On the crying - it is not a bad thing for a baby to cry. That is how they communicate and clear their lungs. I don't think she should stay there for a long time, but if she only lasts 30 seconds one time try for 1 min the next time. Slowly increase her tummy time.

Myra - posted on 12/18/2009

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My baby hated tummy time too. What I did with my daughter was just make sure she got enough playtime and "exercise" in other ways. When she got to the point she was ready to start crawling (which was in the early normal time frame), she'd get down and work on it, then roll over to her back and play on her back.



Although tummy time is probably very beneficial, it is not a necessity if they can't stand being on their tummy. A baby will grow and develop properly as long as the muscles and everything are used in some way... it doesn't have to be tummy time.

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Sarah - posted on 12/18/2009

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I think no baby likes this, its important to keep the head round, but the head fixes no matter what, but what i did... I laid my son on my stomach with his stomack on mine, so he could see me, after awhile he got the idea it was ok. If your worried about crawling, babies decide if there going to crawl or not, my neice never crawled, just scooted on her butt, when she walked she than crawled. My son was pulling himself up standing before he crawled.

Patricia - posted on 12/18/2009

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dont worry to much both my kids didnt like tummy time either the only time they liked it was bath time and my daughter started crawling at 7 months and my son at 10 months all children have their own ways and likes and dislikes just as we have. the only other suggestion I could make is try a mirror it might draw her attention away from the fact that shes on her tum while looking at the funny shape in mirror. She will get there and while some kids walk and crawl early others only start after the age of 1. let her be and she will surprise you

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try putting on an elevated surface so they can see, obviously you have to be right there in case they decide to roll! Dont worry my daughter refused to do tummy time and was crawling and pulling up on her own at 6 and a half months

Callinda - posted on 12/17/2009

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Tummy time is totally overrated! If she doesnt enjoy it, then its not worth it.



As far as I know there is not any proven developmental benefit from it, as Renae has suggested it was introduced as a recommendation following the SIDS guidelines to sleep babies on their backs.

Babies who have tummy time do not crawl, walk or development any sooner than babies in Eastern cultures that are strapped to their mums for the first 6 months of their lives. So just stick with the activities she enjoys!

Renae - posted on 12/17/2009

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Many babies learn to crawl from a sitting position, so don't worry about that. Look, I know the majority of the experts say that tummy time is very important (my MIL puts my baby on his tummy every time she sees him because someone told her they should be on their tummy the whole time their awake) but I personally know about 12 kids I can think of that hated tummy time, never had it, and never had any problems.

Tummy time was invented when SIDS organisations started recommending putting babies to sleep on their backs. It was thought that babies would no longer get the exercise of moving in their sleep while on their tummy and that this needed to be replaced with "tummy time" during the day. But there are some experts who say its unnecessary.

I think if you can lie on the floor and talk to her enough to amuse for as long as possible a few times a day that is probably enough (any physiotherapists on here please don't attack me for this).

Jessi - posted on 12/16/2009

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my son i six months and he HATES tummy time, always has. i feel the same way as you about the crying, so i don't force him to do it. however he loves his bouncy chair and he sits in my lap or stands while i hold him and has been able to hold his head straight and steady since he was just 3 months. one fallback i have noticed about not making him lay there is he still refuses to roll over unless hes trying to get a toy above his head. the only reason they really recommend it is so that baby doesn't get a flat head and of course for crawling. all my nurses have told me that as long as he sits up and isn't laying on his back all the time then its not an issue.

Hope - posted on 12/16/2009

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Put a favorite toy in front of her during tummy time and just acccept what she gives you as she establishes how long she wants to be on her tummy. It will increase eventually.

Stefie - posted on 12/16/2009

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Maybe you could try tummy time on your tummy. Lay on your back and put the baby on your tummy so that she sees mom and you can entertain her. Then maybe you can transition her to the floor. I started this at only a few weeks old and never had any issues at tummy time. She was crawling around 6 months, walking at 10 months, and has most major mile stones of a 24 month old at 15 months.

Brandy - posted on 12/16/2009

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my son hated it as well. I told his dr. about it and he told me to get a mirror and set down so he can see himself and that really helped after about one week I just put toys down and the mirror and then he started to like it more and more and before I new it he was crawling all over the please

Nancy - posted on 12/16/2009

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Do not worry. My baby hated tummy time for the first 6 months. I was worried that he would never get the exercise he needed to start sitting down and consequently start crawling. He did just fine and he started doing the tummy time when he was ready to do it. Do not pressure yourself, they will do it when they feel the need and are ready for it. My baby was a premie, so I think I learned to give him his own time to do things without pressuring him or me to do it. I did try a few times, but he did not do it til he was ready. He is 11 months old now and he is already crawling like a pro, and starting to cruise. So be patient...she will get there =)

Megan - posted on 12/16/2009

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I think a lot of babies hate tummy time. I didn't do it a lot and at 3 1/2 months my son was already rolling over and holds his bead up very good (he is 4 months now) You can try talking to her playing with her, singing, reading, you don't have to do it for very long, when my son wold start to get mad I would stop tummy time and try again later. I know some moms do it a lot and everyday but I was not that into tummy time.

Leisel - posted on 12/16/2009

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I often wonder when we became so obsessed with "tummy time". A lot of cultures do not have tummy time and their children spend a lot of time strapped to their mother's backs or lying on their backs( a dirt floor is not a great place to do tummy time) and they don't appear to have delays in walking or crawling.



There have been a number of other posts on this topic so if you go to the search block at the top you may find some suggestions.



My boys were not wild about tummy time, and if I think about it it can't be very nice to have to lie with your face pressed into the floor and face the mammoth task of lifting a head or body that weighs a ton (imagine trying to lift your head with your husband pushing it down with his foot!)



My boys did like to fly...I would lie on my back and put them on my chest and then lift them up in the air and then back onto my chest and then see if they would try to lift up onto their arms before flying again.



Good luck.

Maureen - posted on 12/16/2009

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My daughter didn't really do tummy time either. She learned to crawl at 10 months and walking at 13 months. I would play with her on the floor head to head while she is on her tummy. I don't think she was ever on it for more than 3 minutes. I would put her on my chest and lift her up. This also strengthens her neck which what I think the goal of tummy time is. When she wants to start moving she will. The other thing I did was lay her on her side. Don't worry, your daughter will learn how to crawl when she is ready. Good Luck.

Nancy - posted on 12/16/2009

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Do not worry. My baby hated tummy time for the first 6 months. I was worried that he would never get the exercise he needed to start sitting down and consequently start crawling. He did just fine and he started doing the tummy time when he was ready to do it. Do not pressure yourself, they will do it when they feel the need and are ready for it. My baby was a premie, so I think I learned to give him his own time to do things without pressuring him or me to do it. I did try a few times, but he did not do it til he was ready. He is 11 months old now and he is already crawling like a pro, and starting to cruise. So be patient...she will get there =)

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