Hates Tummy Time

by Z Lamberti
(Gauteng, SA)

My baby hates tummy time. He is 4 months and three weeks. He can sit for a few seconds on his own, but going on his tummy has always been a problem. He suffers from reflux and is on medication for that. But as a result going on his tummy causes him to cry and it is therefore needless to try and teach him to roll. Any advice?

Comments for Hates Tummy Time

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Frustrated by tummy time
by: Anonymous

My baby also seemed very frustrated by tummy time for quite a while. I would place him on his tummy for little bits at a time and then move him to his back when he started getting upset. I figured either way he was getting used to be on his own and using his hands and feet freely. Once he learned to roll from back to tummy regularly (about 5 months), he seemed to be much happier on his tummy. Now he is 6 months and usually happy for quite a while on his tummy. When there was something exciting going on in the room (like the dogs playing) it would distract him and he was happy much longer on his tummy... even early on.

Tummy time tips
by: Anonymous

I have a few tummy time tips that could help to make this position more tolerable. My baby hated tummy time and would scream his head off. However, at 4 months he could sit totally unsupported for about 5 minutes. Then when he got tired he would fall forward, ending up on is tummy - and to my surprise when he got into this position all by himself he didn't mind it at all. Since that moment I could put him on his tummy several times a day (by encouraging him to fall into it by himself).

Other things that helped him were doing tummy time with others babies who enjoyed it. He would look at them and see it was 'normal'. He also did it on the floor in front of his favorite television program, so he was forced to look up to see the TV (just make sure he is watching the TV before you put him on his tummy so it holds his attention!) Hope that helps!

Baby hated tummy time
by: Jennifer

My now 6 months old baby hated tummy time until about 4 months old. She is our only child and I was concerned that she was falling behind. Then I read that babies develop in their own unique ways. So I decided to never force her to have tummy time.

Interestingly, she was quite happy when we laid stomach to stomach. At a little over 4 months she started rolling from back to stomach and a couple of weeks later she started rolling onto her tummy all the time.

Today she loves being on her tummy and is able to move herself around really well!

Acid reflux trouble
by: Another Acid Refulx Baby

My little girl has always had very bad acid reflux trouble (throws up entire stomach contents sometimes while playing on stomach 1-2hrs after eating). She would scream whenever she was on her tummy, but sitting and standing was her preferred positioning.

To get her to enjoy her tummy time, our super soft mattress on our bed seemed to do the trick. The pillow top allowed her whole body to take her weight and distribute it more evenly - not just on her belly. Sometimes we would play together on the bed and would roll around naturally. She still doesn't roll on the floor. So, that's my suggestion.

Infant Tummy Time
by: Emily

I also have issues making infant tummy time work. My daughter hates tummy time. We get down on the floor with her, but within 2-3 minutes she's screaming.

She doesn't always even lift her head. She has a very big head and will just not even lift it at times. Other times when she does lift it, she won't keep her arms up and just puts them back towards her legs, then starts crying.

We try to keep her arms bent so she's supporting her upper body but that doesn't last long. One thing I found that lasts a little longer is when she's doing tummy time in her Boppy. I am also looking for suggestions. . . . she can hold her head up very well and I believe will be able to sit unassisted pretty soon.

Encourage Rolling
by: Dalene

From what you say is seems as if your baby's sitting is quite up to standard. Also take heart, acid reflux is usually outgrown as children get older.

On the other hand, when reflux seems to be present, very little seems to help.

I have an Occupational Therapist friend with a daughter who suffered from reflux when she was small. Despite everything they did, her baby kept on crying when put on her tummy.

In the end the wisdom was to continue with the exercises, despite her baby's reflux problems.

You may also try the following techniques to get your baby rolling.

But first, remember to try these stimulation exercises BEFORE feeding, never after. Also try to exercise him whenever he is not irritated or lethargic.

You can try placing your son on his side on an incline, feet at the lower end and head to the raised end of the incline. One way of creating such an incline is by slightly raising a stiff cushion or even a cardboard surface.

Encourage your child to roll in the raised position by placing a few toys right in front of him. Sometimes is helps to have these toys suspended close to him. Very often this encouragement helps immediately.

Another way is to use the same incline, but gently roll your baby down the slope to the bottom to stimulate the rolling movement.

In most cases one of these techniques will work. And keep in mind to allow some time to repeat these exercises. Rarely ever will they work the first time you try them. And as stated above, your child may not necessarily like the exercises, but if you pick your time well you may in fact still get reasonably good results.

Lastly, keep all these exercises playful and fun.

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