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tummy time help

688 Views 17 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  thismama
My baby boy is almost 18 weeks old and can't stand tummy time. Everytime i put him on his tummy he piches a fit or falls asleep. I've tried proping him up, laying beside of him, putting his favorite toys in front of him. I just don't know what to do anymore. His head is getting so flat on one side where he lays on it so much and i'd hate for him to have to wear a band or something. He almost acts like he can't really lift his head up well at all. Really the only time he does raise his head up good is when he gets really mad from being on his tummy. Gosh i really don't know what i can do about this and i'm starting to get really worried. Does anyone have any advice about how i can get him used to tummy time? His head is starting to look really bad. His doc just said to lay him on his tummy or reposition him but neither work because he screams when he's on his tummy and just wiggles his way out of it when i reposition him. Please help!! Any advice i think would be helpful.( I tried a baby carrier and he hates that too)
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Our main tummy time was when we'd lie down on our backs and put him on our bellies. That was so much fun for him, b/c he'd get to look at our faces and interact with us, and of course pay attention to the milk-makers.

About the baby carrier, did you put him in and then get OUTSIDE, to move around, walk briskly, and so on? How many times did you try? Keep trying, get moving, and he might realize he likes it after all.

How much time is he spending on his side?

Is he spending any time on his back? His other side?

Is he uncomfortable on the other side? Have you taken him to a nice, gentle, chiropractor, to have his wee little spine checked out? The tiniest misalignment can cause discomfort and even pain, and having that taken care of with a lovely little gentle adjustment can make WORLDS of difference.

How about cranio-sacral therapy? That's lovely as well. My son's head changed shape within hours of having that done when he was 2 weeks old. It was so cool. I knew it was cool before; the first time I had it done I didn't have to wear my glasses for weeks (I was very blind) and my face felt relaxed for the first time in years (no one came up to me to ask why I was so tense, or to tell me to "smile!" like they usually did)...but to watch DS's head change was astounding. It also helped his latch.

Try those things, see if they help!
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I also did a lot of tummy time with G by laying on the floor and putting him face down on me. He finds this really funny! Can you use positioners at night to help keep him on his non flattened side? Is he big enough for an exersaucer or johnny jumpup? That wouldn't be the same as tummy time, but he'd still be working different muscles and gaining strength.
I had the same problem with DS when he was an infant. What they said is totally correct, lay on your back and put your baby on your chest, just don't prop yourself up. Your little one will eventually get it, and it is still considered tummy time. If you want to put them on the floor, I used to put a really soft blanket on the floor and put DS on his tummy for a minute or two at a time, he would tolerate only about that much then I would get on my back and put him on my chest.
My little JC, 6mo, has never liked tummy time either. He always did like being in a sitting position in my arms and I think that's helped with strengthening his muscles. He's just started rolling over a couple weeks ago, and he only rolls from back to stomach, and after two minutes MAX he'll start to cry because he hasn't figured out how to get back over on his back yet!

I have no advice about the flattened head, but some babies just really don't like being on their tummies, and they turn out all right!
I second the tummy to chest position. my dd hates tummy time and so i rarely put her down - she loves being on my chest though and the other day she went on her tummy on the floor for the first time in ages and there she was, pushing herself up and everything, so being on the chest must have helped.

we also have an itty bitty little boppy-like thing that she's okay being propped onto occasionally. seemed what she didn't like about tummy time was that she was always hitting her nose on the floor when she tried to turn her head, and the boppy thing prevented that.
I've never done any tummy time on purpose. Carrying upright in a sling counts as tummy time and mine have always spent many hours each day that way. They have all met milestones months early so it must work!
ds3 will get on his tummy by himself now, from a sitting position, because he wants to try to crawl. Today he rolled over back to front while I was trying to change his diaper. He hasn't yet rolled front to back because he doesn't spend much time in that position.
Try not to worry!

my dd is a tummy time hater too. i sometimes lay on my back, pull my kness up to my chest, and put her on my shins. she flies like an "airplane" up there, and loves it! she laughs like crazy! it gives me an ab workout too!
He's still so little. Don't worry! Can he sleep on his side with positioners?

Otherwise, tummy time on you is best, as suggested. But just keep trying, he'll get more comfortable with it eventually.
Try what I call the magic carpet ride: put dc on tummy on a large folded blanket and drag blanket around on floor (hardwood floors work well!). DD hated tummy time but would smile when we did this. I positioned toys around the room so that she would look up at them as we passed by - helps if each toy makes a different sound. Be careful, of course - no tight turns!

BTW, as much as she hated tummy time, DD wound up learning to roll over from back to belly, not belly to back. Go figure.

Good luck
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He still hates being on his tummy even when he's laying on my chest. I went and bought an exersaucer in hopes that it might be better than tummy time for him but he's still so small his little chicken legs just dangle and unless i prop blankets all around him he just wobbles all around. I just bought a little round froggy pillow at walmart and i've been trying to prop him up on that so that his arms hang off the front but every time i do it he falls asleep like 5 sec later, and because of sids i'm so terrified to let him sleep on his tummy at all. I've even let him cry for just a few min but he gets so mad and roles over so he's laying on his back again. I've tried and tried again just to get him to lay on his side and if i can get it set up so that he can't wiggle his way out of it and he'll just cry until i pick him up or put him on his back again. I get so ill everytime someone says i need to make him lay on his tummy more because his head is so flat on one side. Anyways when the weather gets a little warmer i'm gonna lay a blanket on the ground outside and see if he likes being on his belly outside. well besides hating tummy time he's the happiest baby around. He smiles all the time, laughs out loud, roles from side to side and constantly wiggles. He loves to touch anything soft with both his hands and his feet. He's still so tiny, right now at 4 months he only weighs about 11lbs 5oz and is 22 in long. The doc said he was in the 10th percentile for weight and 5th percentile for height. i think he may be teething too cause he has so much slobber he gags on it and is trying to chew everything like a mad man. My grandmaw says i need to fatten him up but i don't know how. He's not ready for baby food yet and i'm not gonna force feed him. He drinks about 6-7oz every 3hrs except at night when he goes for about 10hrs before waking up to eat. I've tried waking him up at night to see if he'll eat but he's always to sleepy so i just let him be. Anyways I'll shut up now cause i'm just rambling on about everything. Thanks for the advice on tummy time everyone.
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my oldest daughter hated tummy time too. I rarely put her on her belly because she would cry. She slept on my belly at night and that was about the only time I could put her on her stomach without her getting upset.

Eventually she walked at 9 months and never crawled. She would roll everywhere. She didn't learn to crawl until she was 17 months LOL. But she learned when it was time for her too. Babies and children will do that. When its time, they'll do it.

My second born daughter is soo different she loves belly time, and will spend like 10 minutes on her belly just playing. She started rolling at 8 weeks old. Go figure. Shes starting to realize now she can scoot herself around too.

I tried and tried to teach my oldest daughter how to crawl. Everyone kept telling me, she'll have developmental problems blah blah blah, She doesn't have any. Infact shes realllllly smart! Its amazing how smart she is.

The Nurse practitioner told my friend whos son is also in the lower percentile for height and weight, that theres got to be someone that size or else the whole percentile chart would be different.

baby up gotta go
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Ds (5 months) loathed tummy time, so we just never did it. He was rolling in both directions by 4 months.
Once he could roll himself he's been much happier with being on his tummy, but I've never forced him to lie on his tummy.
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"I get so ill everytime someone says i need to make him lay on his tummy more because his head is so flat on one side."

Stay away from those people!

And hey, if his head stays flat (unlikely), well, my BIL's head is entirely flat on the back, and he's perfectly normal.

I don't think the exersaucer is a good idea, especially that little. Too much force coming up through the pelvis, just dangling there.

I think, maybe, you're focusing on this whole "tummy time" a bit too much. If he's a happy active guy, just go with that! I'm fairly sure that there are COUNTLESS cultures and countries who have no idea that their babies "needed" this "tummy time" thing recently invented, and yet most everyone is fine, yes? Just live your life with him.

Even though I mentioned the bit about laying him on your front, I almost NEVER did that with DS. I mean really, almost never. And yet he started rolling over at some point after 4 months, he pulled to stand at 6 months, THEN he started crawling
: , and so on.

If he's happy and healthy and active...don't let this one little thing get to you so much.

Do you hold him a lot? I held my guy almost all the time. That's what we did for about the first 6 months, just sat around together.

As for the falling asleep on his front thing...that's only a correlation, if that, with SIDS. My stepmom is a NICU nurse and she thinks the whole thing is nonsense. She let her three sleep any which way they chose and didn't worry one whit about it. I would let DS sleep on his belly when I was in the room. Not that you have to stop worrying about it, but I think maybe you don't have to be SO scared about it. I'm sure sure the level of anxiety you have over this is good for ya, OK?

But first and foremost, stay away from those people wasting their days staring at your guy's head!
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I never did tummy time with either of my kids cause they didnt like it. The only time dd had tummy time was when she was sleeping at night on my chest (I never let her do that tho till she was at least a year old) so dont guess it really counts. SIDS just to big a risk to let them sleep on tummy by themselves. With ds he only started tummy time when he could roll over by himself and try to crawl. I wouldnt worry about the tummy thing. With his head i would just make sure each time u put him back down to sleep at night after nursing u switch the sides so that he gets equal time on each side.
Listen to your baby! Babies rarely enjoy being in positions they can't get themselves into or out of on their own. Tummy time is important for developing strong trunk muscles, but before babies can roll over independently, they usually will fuss when placed on their tummy. In the meantime, you can rest assured that he is getting "tummy time" whenever you have him laying face down on you when you are resting, or when you carry him with your fronts facing. Babies pre-rolling over still work those neck and trunk muscles by being on mom or dad's chest, as long as they are alert and awake. Don't sweat it- your baby is telling you something, and I'm sure you care about his opinion more than the adults who are being nosy. When he's ready, he'll enjoy it more. Good luck, and enjoy your little one!
It's really nice to hear some reasuring advice from some momma's who have been through the same thing. Just hearing that all of your babies turned out just fine makes me worry so much less. I'm not saying that i won't worry because i think every good momma worries about their babies even when they're grown and on their own. We worry which means we care. My mom has told me she'll always worry about me so she'll never stop asking me to come to church because she loves me too much. I guess i'll be the same way about those sorts of things when my little Malachi is grown. Anyways, i think doctors try to worry new parents to much also. Before they released him from the NICU at the children's hospital for his heart defect they told to watch for this and watch for that such as decreased feeding and so many other things i think most new babies do anyways. I know he's small for his age but so was i when i was a baby. In kindergarden i only weighed 25# so i think the only reason i worry about his size so much is because his heart doctor made me. Well his heart is healing up slowly and i'm slowly starting to worry about that as much. I think that's the main reason i gave up breastfeeding so early because he would get so frustrated and i was afraid it would hurt his little heart. I really wish i could start breastfeeding again but my milk has dried up. Anyways thanks to everyone for the advice and everything.
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Just wanted to add that my daughter hated tummy time too. I didn't do it, just carried her around a lot. She turned out fine (she is 2 now). Good luck!
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