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Thread: How important is tummy time?

  1. #1

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    Default How important is tummy time?

    Natalie *hates* it, which I understand is pretty normal and that if we persevere she will learn not to mind it. I have read that it's not that important, but today at mothers' group we were told that it is really important for their general development and that we should put them on their tummys whenever they are awake
    What are your experiences? Did/does your baby spend lots of time on their tummy? How much do you think that affected their development?


  2. #2

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    Our DS (6 months) hated it at first so we just did it for a couple of minutes throughout the day when he was younger. He has gotten better at it but now is frustrated that he can't crawl so can get quite fed up with it after a while. I think as long as you do it a bit each day it's okay. Even a couple of minutes is better than nothing.

  3. #3

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    oooo good question... eden hates it to, she gets so frustrated and cracks it...
    i was asking my sister and she said with her twins they didnt even bother untill they were 4 months old... i keep thinking i should persevere but when i see her face down and so upset i cant let her be so distressed, her neck is getting strong thru other ways of carrying her and she can move it side to side.... does someone know how important this is. Thanks for posting it Snacks, this worries me heaps

  4. #4

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    Our MCH nurse is big oon tummy time too. I understand that it's important as babies no longer sleep on their tummies to prevent SIDS. I'd suggest not doing it straight after a feed if it upsets them and try to find that small window when food has enough time to go down a bit and before they are ready for another sleep.

    Angus and his cousins have all used a water mat which has helped enormously when they weren't keen. I only keep him on his tummy until he starts to grizzle and then flip him over so he doesn't think it's a yucky activity. There as other ways to achieve your tummy time minutes too - lying on your or DP's chest if they're not too heavy, lying across your lap with their tummy between your legs and along your arm in the colic hold. Try these if lying on the floor really upsets them for now. My MCHN also suggested using the TV sparingly to attract their attention - I know that's the oly thing that worked for someone in my mum's group.

    As with all things, some babies can hold their heads up earlier than others - stick at it a little bit at a time but don't let it distress you or your bubs.

  5. #5
    pebbles2820 Guest

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    My DD absolutely hated being on her belly, so we didn't push, she never crawled but pulled herself up to walk holding on at 9mts and walked independantly before she was 1.She is now a very confident happy young lady who participates in any activities she can find. Both my boys were okay on their bellies and crawled and walked at a normal pace. I think DD just thinks she might miss out on something.

  6. #6

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    Hmmmm...tummy time.
    My kids hated it. DD especially got very distressed. I have never pushed it with either of them and DD never had any dramas. DS is rolling and trying to crawl and I would say he's had a total of one hour of tummy time his whole life. Until recently he screamed and I was just not prepared to put him through that every day.
    I don't believe that not doing it causes any long term problems, my daughter was walking at 12 months and is now a very active two year old.
    It's something you have to feel comfortable with, but I really wouldn't stress about it. I honestly believe it's one of those things that everyone is told to do that will be shown to not make a heck of a lot of difference one day down the track. Yet another parenting fad

  7. #7
    Jodie259 Guest

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    My son hated tummy time too.... but I was also encouraged to persevere.
    One reason is that it strengthens their neck muscles so that they are able to crawl, and sleep okay when they sleep on their tummies - and believe me - they WILL sleep on their tummies - ALL THE TIME!!!

    I heard a good suggestion was to put a rolled towl under their arms, so that they are a little elevated.
    also those mirrored triangles are helpful.
    And getting down on your tummy and facing Natalie.

    And my son started to love tummy time after we spent some time 'rolling him' over and over.

    Don't stress too much about it. But try to encourage it.... even if it's just a minute at a time.
    I guess they need to be happy to be on their tummy so that they eventually crawl. If they don't get tummy time, it may take longer for them to crawl as that requires them to be on their tummy for a while before they get the strength to get their arms and legs co-ordinated.

    You can also do "tummy time" across your lap. Maybe give your baby a little back massage?
    Or lie on the ground, and put your baby on your tummy - facing you.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the replies. I think Natalie's head control is pretty good - she certainly lifts it well off my shoulder when she's fighting sleep, LOL. We'll try it every now and again, but I don't think we'll do it every play time - that seemed a little over the top, I thought...

  9. #9

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    Nina hated tummy time until she started rolling, and now she'll only play on her tummy! Whenever I was carrying her, I'd carry her 'aeroplane style', and gave her a couple of minutes a day on her tummy, but didn't go overboard with it. The rolled up towel/blanknet under her arms is a good one, so is over your legs while giving a massage.
    Just follow her lead, she'll play on her tummy when she's ready.

  10. #10
    mrmoo Guest

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    IMO tummy time is important to do everyday but only at a time that is agreeable to your baby and certainly not when they are screaming. Practice a little each day, the length of time will increase and then you can help with teaching them to roll. Tummy time helps them to also expel wind, but if they're in too much discomfort then pick them up.

  11. #11
    lotusmamma Guest

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    All three of my babies disliked tummy time although would tolerate it sometimes for 1-2 minutes so I never pushed it. I don't like laying on my stomach much at all myself. My kids all rolled over, crawled and walked early so it obviously isn't necessary for development. I think it's more important for babies who aren't carried in slings because they spend so much time flat on their backs in prams or in car capsules.

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