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How important is "tummy time" Lock Rss


I constantly hear how important it is to place the newborn baby on their stomach so that they can learn to strengthen their neck to gain head control. When I place my 7 week old baby on his tummy he hates it! He starts to cry and thrash about until I take his off again. Should I persist? It is true that they definately need this to gain head control?


I have 2 girls, who both hated being on their stomachs at that age, and would scream the second they were placed on their stomach. They both hated it so much that they learnt very quickly to roll from front to back (both started rolling off their front at 7 weeks), and would roll immediately they were placed on their front. As a result they did not get much tummy time. The eldest is now 2 and has no developmental problems. Ironically, once she learnt to roll the other way, from her back to her front at 4 months, there was no keeping her off her front, even to sleep. I figure she very quickly made up for her lack of tummy time earlier.

Personally I wouldn't be too worried about tummy time. Try him on his tummy, but if he is too distressed give up for that day, but try again in the not too distant future. What babies hate one day, they may love soon after. The other thing I found that my girls did like was lying on their stomach on me when I was sitting in a very reclined position - which does give them the oportunity to gain some head control without getting so distressed.

Good luck.

mum to 2 girls


My son - now 8 1/2 months - used to hate tummy time. I never pushed him though, the clinic nurse suggested I put him on his tummy on the change table for a brief period after every nappy change and that seemed to be a bit better. I also found that if I layed down in front of him so he could see my face he would stay on his tummy a bit longer. It wasn't until he was about 4 months old that he started to like it and by 5 months he was rolling right across the floor. He started crawling at around 7 months - and pulling himself up on everything. So not having much tummy time hasn't slowed his development. There is another discussion on tummy time in the baby section. Just take it easy, they do get used to it eventually. Hope this helps.

Again thank you for your input! I will try your suggestion of reclining the chair and see how he goes with that, he loves sitting over my shoulder especially when he has wind, so will see how it goes. Thanks for the reassurance, you get so much conflicting information when you are a new mum!!
Hi, apparently newborns have a reflex in which they involuntarily lift their heads when placed on their tummy. I was told this by a child care worker who said that tummy time is important while they have this reflex in order to gain head control. I didn't do much tummy time with my first but she is nearly 2 and going well, but my 8 week old gets tummy time. Because she has reflux I prop her up with her head, shoulders and chest on a pillow and get down on the floor at her level with some toys in order to give her something to focus on. After a couple of minutes she gets whingey, so I put her back on her back. Some days she likes it, others she won't have a bar of it.

Angela, NSW

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