Wednesday, December 21, 2011

tummy time

Since most people don't put their babies to sleep on their bellies anymore, babies have to have tummy time to strengthen their neck muscles.  At least, that's what most websites say, and my pediatrician says to too.

But I found tummy time to be very tricky when Julie was newborn - particularly for the first six weeks or so.

First of all, there is just not that much time in the day with a newborn!  Between eating and crying and sleeping, there is only so much happy play time.  Maybe 15 minutes between each of the feedings.  Often none if her tummy is bothering her.  And if I have to go out, and she spends it in the stroller, or if I have needs [showering? eating? getting out of pajamas? or other such minor necessities that suddenly become luxuries with a newborn] then I miss the happy window for tummy time.  

She didn't like tummy time, so I didn't want to put her down on her belly when she was already crying. And of course if she wasn't crying, I wanted to enjoy it, and I didn't want to move her from what she was happy to do.  

I also found it very tricky to get her onto her tummy when she didn't have any head or arm control. And it's even more awkward to pick her up off of the floor from her belly.

When I did put her down, she often just turned her head to the side and sucked on her first, or on the blanket.

So this is why in six weeks she got maybe 6 minutes of tummy time...

But here's what I've learned so maybe I could do it better next time.

Tummy time after the bath is good. In a warm bathroom while having a massage -- if she's still happy after I've done her front, I roll her onto her back, and sometimes she is content for a few minutes while I'm rubbing her back.  

Lay her down with her chest on a pillow and her arms sticking out.  You can put a toy, like a mirror, under her.  This way she can't just lick the blanket.

Put your feet up on the coffee table, creating a sort of angled table with your shins.  Lay her tummy on your lower legs with her head just up above your knee. Then she can look up to see your face.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great tips, thanks!