Newborn babies are fragile. They usually spend most of their time sleeping, eating, and crying, among other things. They spend a big portion of their first few months sleeping on their back. While it is okay to do so, it is also important that the little one learns to lie on its tummy. This is what is more popularly known as the tummy time. Tummy time is particularly important to build the upper body strength of your baby. However, babies do not understand it. In fact, in most cases, a baby hates tummy time.  

Most new parents complain that their baby rolls over and absolutely do not enjoy their tummy time. However, that should not create a sense of worry among parents. Most babies do not enjoy their tummy time. This is not something unusual. But there are hacks that you can try out to make the entire time more enjoyable and fun for the little one.  

So, if you are eager to know all the ways in which you can make your little dumpling enjoy its tummy time more, stay with us till the end of the article to find out.  

What Is Tummy Time?  

What Is Tummy Time

Tummy time is nothing complicated that you need to be worried about. It is just putting the baby on their tummy for a short time period every day. While this is one of the simplest exercises that your baby can participate in, its benefits are uncountable. There are four main reasons why you should prioritize tummy time for your baby.  

Helps Develop Their Motor Skills  

When a baby spends time on its belly, the little ones use its muscles and develop the muscles that allow them to lift up their heads, roll, and gradually crawl.  

Putting them on the floor helps develop their core muscle strength along with their neck, back, and arms. Tummy time also makes rolling and crawling easier and earlier.  

As per research, babies who do not spend a lot of time on their tummy tend to get delayed with their motor skill development. 

Reduces The Chances Of Skull Deformity  

Babies must sleep on their backs, which particularly reduces the risk of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. But babies that spend more than enough time on their back tend to grow flat head syndrome or positional plagiocephaly. This is something that tummy time can easily prevent.  

Plagiocephaly is pretty common and is usually not that dangerous; neither is it permanent. Some kinds of plagiocephaly, though, can happen due to some underlying serious condition known as craniosynostosis. So, if you come across a flat area on the baby’s head, make sure to take them to the pediatrician to get a better look.  

Promotes Their Sensory Development  

Staying on their stomach allows babies to go through multiple movements and positions, and they also learn how to move their arms and legs. It also allows them to see a totally different view of the world in comparison to what they have seen for this long. As babies stay on their backs for most of the time after being born, tummy time allows them to flip the world upside down for a bit of time.  

Opportunities To Bond  

Initially, parents do not get lots of opportunities to bond with the baby. While tummy time is not certainly that interactive, the baby will get more and more engaged as their skills start to develop.  

This way, parents can often engage in a number of interactive activities with their baby, which is one of the most important things during their growth.  

Why A Baby Hates Tummy Time?  

Why A Baby Hates Tummy Time

Now, we come to the most important part of it. While you, as a parent, understand the importance of tummy time, your baby does not. For them, you just force them into doing something they are not used to doing. That explains why they hate it so much.  

After being born, babies usually stay on their backs. They sleep, get fed, and play while being on their back. So, when you suddenly change their position without even getting their permission, a protest is in line.  

Another reason why your baby hates tummy time is because they have to do a bit more than usual. Tummy time, after all, is something pretty difficult for them, so they protest.  

Sometimes, some babies do not really have the upper body strength to start with tummy time on a smooth, flat surface without any help. As a result, just placing them down on the floor makes them distressed very quickly.  

The secret here is to start slow. Start with the simplest variations of tummy time, and do it only for very short time periods.  

Then, build it up gradually to the bit more difficult activities and increase the time that your baby lies on their stomach as they develop more confidence and strength.  

How To Make Your Baby Love Tummy Time?

How To Make Your Baby Love Tummy Time

Most babies hate tummy time. It becomes a lot of physical work for them, which they certainly do not like. If your baby protests against their tummy time, too, do not worry – you are not the only one. This is the one complaint that is common for every new parent.  

However, there are ways in which you can make their tummy time more fun and enjoyable.  

Here are five tummy time positions that you may also try out with your baby that will make your little one enjoy its tummy time even more.  

For every position, you will also learn about its modification and how to make it simpler and more enjoyable for your baby. Even if you are doing it for a very short period of time, it’s still good progress.  

As the baby gets stronger, you may slowly withdraw all the additional support and increase the time period you keep them on their tummy.  

Keep Them On The Floor With A Towel For Support 

This is a modified-traditional and one of the best techniques to promote tummy time in your baby.  

To get them in this position, start by putting the baby on their back. Then, help them roll over gently onto their tummy by lifting one of their legs over their body.  

Once they get on their tummy, roll up a small tow and place it across their chest and under their arms. The rolled-up towel puts their chest a bit above the floor, giving them more of an inclined position. Doing this will allow them to shift the pressure from the front to their bottom and hips. This way, they can more easily lift their heads.  

The Football Hold  

To hold the football or the football position for your baby’s tummy time, keep your arm underneath the baby. Make sure that the baby lies with its face facing downwards and the head resting in your elbow crease.  

Then, place the other hand between the baby’s legs, holding the upper thigh. You may also make this technique easy if your baby tends to dislike it, too. Just change the angles of your arm. Remember, the higher you position the baby’s head in comparison to their legs, the easier it will become for them to stay in the position.  

Chest-To-Chest Tummy Time  

This is one of the best positions to get your baby into tummy time, particularly if they hate it.  

chest to chest

This is where you need to lie down on your back while the baby lies tummy down on your chest. You may also make this position considerably simpler by reclining yourself before putting the baby on you. The more you incline, the easier it will be for them to lift their heads up. It also helps them shift the weight to their legs and hips, making it easier for them.  

Try To Make Them Lie Across Your Lap  

This is another great position to try if your baby hates tummy time. You can just sit on a couch or a bed and make them lie across your lap.  

To make this simple and easy, you can just increase your baby’s support by lifting your leg that falls right under their chest. This will move their body weight to their hips and legs and allow them to raise their head more easily.  

Exercise Ball Tummy Time  

Finally, the last most effective way in which you can make the baby enjoy its tummy time is by placing them on an exercise ball or any big, blown-up ball. When you do this, make sure you give the baby a lot of support so that there is no risk for them to fall off or hurt themselves.  

The safest way to do it is placing the baby on its tummy right on the top of the ball – head on top and legs going down at the back. While they are lying on the ball, make sure to give them as much support as you can. One effective way is to help them by their elbow for additional support. You can also rock them back and forth to increase and decrease the gravity they require to lift their head up. This is also one of the greatest ways to decrease and increase the difficulty level as needed.  

How Do You Tell That Your Baby Hates Tummy Time? 

This is where things become complicated. Some babies are fussy in general, so they are going to create a fuss regardless of the position you put them in. So, as a first-time parent, you need to keep an eye on how your baby reacts when you keep them in a tummy-down position.  

One of the most prominent symptoms of your baby not enjoying their tummy time is crying. No matter what, the crying would not stop unless you put them back in their back. This is prevalent for the tiniest babies who have no other way to solve the situation other than crying. On the other hand, the ones that are a little bigger will simply roll over the moment you put them in the tummy position.  

While the symptoms may vary from one baby to the other, these two remain the same regardless of their age or habits. If you do notice any of these symptoms in your child, make sure that you do not give up and constantly keep updating your methods to keep your baby engaged and make them enjoy tummy time.  

When Is The Best Time To Start Tummy Time?  

There is no specific time to start tummy time with your baby. It is, however, advisable that you get started with it as soon as possible. Some professionals even suggest that you start it right after bringing the baby home from the hospital.  

However, it is totally okay if you wish to give your baby a month before you get them in this weird resting position. Your baby will absolutely despise their tummy time and will try every other tactic to get rid of it, but in no way should you quit.  

When Is The Best Time To Start Tummy Time

Tummy time is very important to build their core strengths and further helps them learn to roll over and crawl.  

With that being said, as a parent, you need to be extra mindful of the time you put them in tummy time. For instance, refrain from putting them on their tummy right after feeding them. This will put pressure on their abdomen and make them throw up.  

The best way to do their tummy time is when they are most awake and fully alert – like after a nap or diaper change. It is also very important that you avoid doing the exercise with a sleepy baby to ensure that they do not fall asleep on their stomach. Also, tummy time must always be done under supervision.  

The Bottom Line  

The fact that your baby hates tummy time is nothing new. This is one of the most common complaints among new parents and not something that they need to be worried about.  

Tummy time is an important exercise that helps build a number of core strengths in your baby. While the exercise in itself is pretty easy, the benefits are worth it.  

So, if your baby constantly protests against tummy time, you may try out the above-mentioned ways to make them give in. Also, tummy time should only be done under supervision and when the baby is fully active and alert.


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