When do you start tummy time? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey there I was wondering when a good time is to start tummytime.

My cousin sits her daughter down on her belly for 30 minutes every day. She says its good for her baby to practice rolling and holding her head up. But she is 9 months old.

My babe is only 2 months so I dont think hes ready yet. but when is a good time? Is this healthy for him? How long and how often should you give him tummy time? Thanks
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#2 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 02:09 AM
 
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We start around 4 weeks old but only for a few minutes at a time, maybe twice a day but we don't always do it everyday. We lay on the floor with the baby and talk to her, following her cues. We never let her fuss during tummy time at this age....at the first sign of being done we pick her up.

My babies also sleep on their belly so when they wake up they get a little bit of tummy time also.
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#3 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 02:31 AM
 
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We started "tummy time" right from the beginning. It's healthy and stimulating for babies to be in many different positions while they're awake. Just see what works for your baby.

Nik! Mama to Evelynn Rose 08/19/08 and Autumn Lily 11/02/10
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#4 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 02:39 AM
 
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I thought I read somewhere that carrying your baby in a baby carrier in some positions is just as good as tummy time. DS is two months old and other than holding his head up while in his baby carrier he gets no tummy time.
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#5 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 08:28 AM
 
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We started tummy time when ds was 1 month old. We would lay him on our tummies for short periods at a time. Then at 3 months, we started putting him on his tummy on a blanket. Now at 5 months, he spends a lot of time on his tummy.
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#6 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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If your child is a tummy sleeper, or lays on your tummy, or you carry her, or a laundry list of other things, this new thing, structured "tummy time" isn't necessary. I have four children, never did it once, and they all walk upright!

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#7 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 10:03 AM
 
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I'm so glad I'm not the only one who never had consistent tummy time for her kids! I just never saw the need - my kids were barely ever laid on their back, just for sleeping and carseat, really, otherwise they were in my arms or on my front in a sling or wrap. So I never bothered with tummy time, really. Oh, once in a while I put them down to play with them on the floor, but I didn't really think about which way they were, just whatever worked for whatever we were playing with - tummy, back, or propped up.
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#8 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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After baby #3 was born, the local Early Education rep. came in to talk to me about classes that were available, gave us a board book, stuffed animal, and to talk about the importance of tummy time.

She said tummy time should start as soon as we get home from the hospital and should be done 20 times per day for a few minutes at a time.
I just stared at her.

The first thing DH asks DD when he walks in the door from work everyday is, "Have you had your 20th tummy time session of the day yet? We better get to work!"


We still laugh about her suggestions. DD is nine months old and almost walking. Without 20 daily sessions of tummy time!

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#9 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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my daughter demanded tummy time from the begining. It was the only way she would stop fussing and has loved it since then (maybe about 5 days old). We always do it supervised and when she would get fussy we would pick her up. She is so much closer to crawling than her 'friends', which could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.

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#10 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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Tummy time here is sleep time. All 4 of my boys have been tummy sleepers. DS4 sleeps on his tummy at least part of the night.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#11 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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The only reason tummy time is considered necessary at all anyway is because there are too many parents who leave their babies literally all day in a carseat or swing or bouncy seat, where the child never has the chance to develop normal muscle tone and gets a flat head. If a child is carried, and worn, and played with in different positions, that's enough. We always just laid ours on our bellies while lying down ourselves and encouraged them to lift their heads to look at us. Probably from about a day old, with the girls, actually-- DD1 could lift her head a bit right from birth. Then again there's no harm in laying your child down on a blanket on the floor and getting down and talking to him, trying to catch him eye, or showing him interesting objects. You can start that now if you want. But it's not like you need to set a timer or whatever, and certainly if babe doesn't like it, find some other way of helping him lift his head and learn to roll. DS HATED being put down at all in the first few months, so we used to just carry him high on one shoulder, and he'd lift his head to try and look over our shoulder, and that was his exercise for the day!

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#12 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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Tummy time can be started from the beginning, and I would follow the child's cues for how long. Another potential benefit of tummy time, in addition to strengthening spinal and neck muscles (which I agree, can be achieved in other positions), is the weight bearing through the hands and arms when they start pushing up. This can really help develop shoulder, arm, hand muscles and the development of the 'arches' we have in our hands. Just something to consider!
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#13 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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We started tummy time from day one. We would start with 5 minutes and then worked to about 20min 2x's a day. Sometimes its didnt go to well, and I would get down on the floor with her -which helped. Tummy time really helps with head control, and mobility. Also the sooner you start the less of a hassle it is. My friends 7 month old has never done tummy time, and she can hardly roll, and obnviously isnt crawling or moving or anything. She didnt get good head control until aroudn 5 months old as well.

So start the tummy time. There are really neat toys for tummy time too, like mirror stands and things. Also if you have a bobby you can prop it under the baby, they seen to like that too
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#14 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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Am I the only one for whom the phrase "tummy time" is like nails on a chalkboard? I don't know why it bugs me so much, but it does.

My babe generally hates being on her stomach, so we don't have her do it very often. Maybe every few days when I think about it, I put her in her crib on her stomach (awake). The crib is the best place for us because if I put her on the floor the dogs would lick her to death. She usually lasts about a minute before she gets mad.

I am not at all concerned about her learning to crawl. In fact, I completely expect her to skip crawling altogether. At four months she has fabulous head control, and can stand for a long time just holding my fingers for balance. She LOVES to stand... if I try to make her sit she goes stiff and refuses to bend. Her daddy walked at 9 months, and I think she is going to follow suit.

"Tummy time" is one of those things that if you ask the older generation about they look at you like you are nuts. Babies learned to walk for thousands of years without tummy time, and certainly without special tummy time gear and toys.

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#15 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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I put DD on her tummy for a period of time from the day she was born, but she likes to be on her tummy.

CPST and SAHM to DS (4/20/06) and DD (6/13/08)
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#16 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 02:04 PM
 
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DS hates it. I wear him throughout the day and he sleeps a lot on my chest, that is where he sleeps best. I'm not worried at all, he can control his head very well and his arms are quite strong.
Every now and then I try tummy time, but he just tries to turn around (soon he will accomplish that!) and starts to scream out of frustration. As soon as he starts to cry I pick him up.
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#17 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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I started aroung 2mo but it would only last about 1min before frustration set in. Now at 3mo we do it for about 3-5min 2or 3x a day.

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#18 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by just_lily View Post
"Tummy time" is one of those things that if you ask the older generation about they look at you like you are nuts. Babies learned to walk for thousands of years without tummy time, and certainly without special tummy time gear and toys.
Yeah, that's me. Never heard of it until I visited birth/message boards, never had a doctor in three different states mention it. I think it's another thing to torture a mother into thinking she's screwing up. Cuz there's not enough to think about as a parent.

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#19 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by just_lily View Post
Am I the only one for whom the phrase "tummy time" is like nails on a chalkboard? I don't know why it bugs me so much, but it does.
"Tummy time" is one of those things that if you ask the older generation about they look at you like you are nuts. Babies learned to walk for thousands of years without tummy time, and certainly without special tummy time gear and toys.
:
I agree-- The phrase "Tummy Time" bugs me!

and you are right about the older generation looking at you like you are nuts--that was my grandmothers exact reaction when I asked her if DS should have tummy time each day.

Linz- Mama to DS Jack (6/08) and baby #2 due 7/25/2010
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#20 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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I really wouldn't worry about how much and how often and when to start. Unless you're leaving him in a carseat or swing all day, he'll be fine. When he's more into toys you can let him hang out on his belly and play until he loses interest but I really wouldn't worry about it.

If your cousin's child is 9 months and is actually not rolling or holding her head well, it's possible she actually needs some kind of structured practice time. I can't imagine DS staying where I put him for 30 minutes (or 30 seconds) at 9 months old.

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#21 of 31 Old 11-06-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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I started putting my LO on his belly from 3-4 weeks. He's a tummy sleeper and now that he can hold his head up really well, he moves around on his tummy. I do try to do a little bit when he's awake but he's so nosy he likes to sit up and play with his toes. LOL

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#22 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 05:24 AM
 
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Tummy time. . .ought to be done right away, at least within the first six weeks. By two months they should be on their tummy a couple times a day at least, for a few moments if they tolerate it to 10 to 20 minutes if they do.

Tummy time isn't just learning to move or crawl. It's strengthening of the spinal muscles, vestibular development, coordination. . .there are a lot of reasons to do it. And it doesn't mean just lying them on their belly on the floor.

A pillow under them is tummy time.
The baby lying on your chest, tummy down, if you are even a little bit reclined, is tummy time.
The baby on a big ball, rolling, tummy down is tummy time.
Anything where they are not upright, on their sides, or on their back.

Not all docs specialize in infant development. They won't all mention it. Mine is great and she has never asked at all. There is a lot of truth to too many hours in the carseat, but a lot of it too is that parents are scared to put kids on their tummy due to SIDS and the belief that they always need to be on their backs.

I am an occupational therapist. . .formerly infant and child development. . .so I do feel I can answer this with a good backing of experience and not just an "in my opinion" type of response. I've worked with a lot of kids with physical and developmental issues and a common thread to many is that they refuse to be prone. Great for those of you who have kids who "never needed it" but there should be some caution about giving that advice out to everyone. Lots of kids don't brush their teeth and don't get cavities either.

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#23 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 05:52 AM
 
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DS hates tummy time so we don't do it very much. One home health care nurse tried to tell us that DS needed at least 5-6 hours of tummy time per day. I just looked at her like she was nuts.

Another home health care nurse asked if we do tummy time, and I told her not really because he hates it. So she tells me it must be done every day, several times a day, I need to set a timer, and make him stay on his tummy even if he's screaming bloody murder.

Then she tries telling me that if I don't do tummy time every single day then DS will develop "stiff neck syndrome" (yes she actually called it that) and will never learn to walk properly.
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#24 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 08:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by otxena View Post
A pillow under them is tummy time.
The baby lying on your chest, tummy down, if you are even a little bit reclined, is tummy time.
The baby on a big ball, rolling, tummy down is tummy time.
Anything where they are not upright, on their sides, or on their back.
So being slinged isn't tummy time?
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#25 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 09:06 AM
 
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Never. I have always let my babies figure out how to roll over on their own--when they can do that they initiate their own tummy time, though very short-lived, because they have all hated it. Holding a baby against you is a much more natural way to develop those muscles.
I highly doubt cavewomen put their little babies face down in the dirt to develop their neck and back muscles . IMO it is no wonder most babies panic when left alone like this; it is a very vulnerable position.

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#26 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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I started right away...sort of...I wouldn't put him down, just recline back on an angle with him on my chest (I still think it counted -he would lift up his head to look at me).

At about 10 weeks I started lying right down on my back with him on my stomach (bonus: I can do mini-crunches by reaching up to kiss his little cheeks)

At around the same time...maybe a week later... I started putting him on the floor once a day, and he was lifting his head and chest right up (SO COOL!).

But that's just my baby...I think it really depends on how they're developing and how much they'll tolerate.
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#27 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 09:59 AM
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from the time he was born, hawk has been a very active baby. he could lift his head on day one (for short periods of time) and was active with his arms and legs. i would put him on his tummy to see if he could lift his chest and head--and he could then, though he didn't seem to enjoy it.

he does spend a lot of time tummy-to-tummy with us, and he tends to lift his legs up as high as he can, rather than his head/torso, but he seems to have fun for about 5-10 minutes before getting frustrated.

he prefers this game of sitting and then standing and stomping. of course, this is entirely with support from me. he can't balance yet--but he loves to do that.

he prefers to be on his back waving his legs and feet in the air, waving his arms, and/or doing something that looks like "crunches." he's trying to sit up already, and he can roll side to side and spin in circles on his back.

when i'm sitting upright and holding him, he sort of "rock climbs" up my torso as best he can.

and, we don't have any car seat/swing/chair holders for him. he's usually in arms or in a wrap--though he usually sleeps in the wrap.

so, that's where we are with his activity, and i just follow his lead.
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#28 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 11:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by veganf View Post
I highly doubt cavewomen put their little babies face down in the dirt to develop their neck and back muscles . IMO it is no wonder most babies panic when left alone like this; it is a very vulnerable position.
Maybe that's why all the pictures of cavemen show them slumping.
Kidding. Like I said before, if your baby is laying in a carseat or strapped on his back in a crib all day, then maybe tummy time is crucial. Amazing how millions of us never heard of it until birth boards, yet we all have children that developed just perfectly. This, IMO (I stress), is another way to make a mother panic that she's not doing it "right".

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#29 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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I think as long as you don't put your kid in contraptions (swings, seats, excersize things etc ) all day long they will be just fine.

I never did tummy time but we did play on the floor and she did spend some time on her tummy. It was just natural.

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#30 of 31 Old 11-10-2008, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the suggestions. My baby spends bout half the day in his moby wrap. He was always chest to chest. but he has out grown that and prefers the lotus hold with him facing outwards.

so i guess hes already invested a lot of "tummy time"...lol.

hes always wanted to hold his head up and look around. At around 1 month he hated the cradle hold in the wrap becaue he was too confined. If I even try it he squrms and trys to "jump" out..lol.
We call him thumper cause hes always got at least one arm and leg going.

I will try tummy time just to see what happens. But he loves to kick and bounce and jump already. Hes awake most the day kicking away. Doesnt hurt to try though

so from the looks of it my lil man is right on target. thanks everyone. Its funny how many things you hear being a 1st time mom. i have heard so many, but I always research and experiment before i beleive it
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