Tummy time

My 3 month old can't handle tummy time at all! She just lays on the floor with her face smooshed into the blanket and cries as hard as she can. I've tried other ways as well, on my chest, my thighs etc and she just cries. I hold her at my shoulder a lot and she can hold up her head and move it back and forth..is this way of holding her the same as tummy time? Any suggestions for tummy time? I'm worried she's not developing upper body strength.
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If she's a back sleeper, tummy time is very important and without it she will probably be delayed in rolling, sitting, and crawling. Being upright on your shoulder is not the same thing, because it doesn't develop the muscles in her arms. You might try tummy time up off the floor...on a table, with you right there...on your chest...being held in airplane position...in a playpen...on an exercise ball. Wherever you do it, you should try for tummy every day, at least 30 minutes, although it doesn't have to be consecutive; you can spread that 30 minutes out throughout the day.
I let my guys scream it out. The frustration helps motive them to work on that upper body strength. Like RCW says, you don't have to do it for long. I let it last until it seemed he was getting too frustrated. its been a while, but I don't remember it taking too long for them to stop hating tummy time.
DS didn't like plain tummy time. He did, however like to have tummy time propped on a pillow. I tried to find a pic of him but couldn't. It was a pillow like a boppy but smaller. I'd drape his arms over it and he was a happy camper. Here's some ideas.

http://www.thecozymecompany.com/?sou...FQdZbAod9CHgig

http://www.amazon.com/Tiny-Love-Tumm.../dp/B0015CA3A4

Mine was just like this
http://www.amazon.com/Boppy-Tummy-Play/dp/B00006ZCCE

This one is cute
http://www.babynowusa.com/index.php?...&products_id=5
High Priestess JessMess, follower of the Goddess of the Coiling Way and Confiscator of Concoctions in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

I don't really have any tips but Ava went from doing EXACTLY what yours is doing to suddenly pushing up and smiling and looking around. In a matter of days actually.

With her, I honestly think she could do it but hated it and so she refused to. Granted, she's a very very opinionated little thing. One day it's like she decided she found tummy time acceptable. This happened right at a month ago if I recall correctly. I even have pics showing it.

On 3/13 (3 months and 9 days old) this was one of her better moments with tummy time because we were using the Boppy pillow and she hated it even worse without it:



Taken the same day/tummy session, before she got ticked off:



This was literally all she could do it seemed and I was worried a lot about her upper body strength too but I just kept trying it for 5 or so minutes several times a day.

On 3/22, just 9 days later :



And by 3/31, she really enjoyed tummy time:





Love this one ^

I don't really have tips because it seemed like nothing worked and then suddenly it did, but I think I have an odd baby sometimes because lots of things are like that. The only helpful tip I could possibly share is to keep trying it because it is important. I thought Ava was going to be very behind but she rolled from her tummy to her back about the time she decided TT was okay (March 23rd to be exact) and then rolled from her back to her belly last week and this seems to be slightly early for back sleepers.

Good luck and hope this is at least encouraging for you, if not helpful
Rheanna....oh my gosh CUTE little girl! So much hair!

I will keep trying, I tried again last night and the instant I set her on her tummy she just screamed as hard as she could. I let her lay there a couple minutes but she had tears coming down her cheeks so I picked her up.

I was thinking, she also has reflux..bad enough that she takes medicine for it. Could tummy time make it worse and that's why she gets so upset?
3a fine hair (I think)

CoN poo and Biolage Conditioning Balm
I love CK and B&A gel...I like HETT Mousse
My son hated tummy time initially but I just kept at it and same as the pp, one day he just got the hang of it. It takes a while for them to develop the strength to be able to do it well and I think in the meantime while they're strengthening those neck and arm muscles, it's hard work for them which could explain why they don't like it.

Btw, Rheanna, those pics are just adorable!
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"If you want the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain"
I'm an infant & toddler physical therapist and I see a lot of babies with reflux who hate their tummies. They already have a lot of pressure inside then lying down on the tummy makes it hurt more.

Tummy time is very important for developing neck muscles but also for strengthening her arms & shoulders. The challenge is finding ways to get her to put weight on her arms, learn to lift her head and keep some of the pressure off her tummy.

This brochure gives lots of ideas on how to sneak in tummy time throughout the day: http://www.apta.org/AM/Template.cfm?...ontentID=50825

If she is not able to lift her head yet, I would help her by getting her arms in a good position. Look at the picture of rheanna's beautiful little girl with the green bib. See how her arms are in front of her body? Try this but bring her elbows a little closer so that they are in line with her shoulders. Help her by gently lifting her shoulders for her. This makes it a little easier to lift her head because she doesn't have to lift her chest also, but it also allows her to keep weight on her arms.

Kneeling over a boppy, sofa cushion or over your leg also gets the pressure off her tummy but allows her to put weight on her arms while taking away some gravity. Again, get her arms in that ideal position (elbows in front, propped on forearms).

Short intervals several times a day is best when you're just starting. Once she is able to lift her head and reach for toys, she should enjoy playing on her tummy.

ETA: If she is still not picking up her head at 4 months, I would contact your local early intervention program. I tried my best to explain in writing, but they would be able to give you more specific positioning ideas in person. If you are concerned about anything with her development, it never hurts to get an evaluation. Feel free to PM me with any questions.
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Last edited by elita; 04-23-2010 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Edit to add
My daughter was the same way. She *hated* tummy time for the first four months and would just scream. I really worried that she was not going to develop upper body strength, that she would have a flat head, etc. I held her upright a lot because while it's different than tummy time, spending time upright also helps babies develop body strength and motor skills and it helps prevent flat head too.

Anyway, at 4 months, she learned to roll over from her back to her tummy and that was that. After that, she loved to be on her tummy. She was crawling at 6 months and walking at 10 months so in our case, her motor skills and strength developed just fine.

I never did tummy time. With my first, I tried it and he just cried, and I do not believe that crying teaches babies anything, so I stopped. With my second, I didn't even bother. He was worn a lot, but I didn't stress out about it at all. Both my boys have plenty of upper body strength (too much for my tastes ) and were both early walkers, so I think I did something right.

I have to wonder what people did before we had helpful doctors telling us that we need to put babies on their tummies for X minutes a day. Somehow I doubt that they all ended up with delayed upper body development.
*Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
I never did tummy time. With my first, I tried it and he just cried, and I do not believe that crying teaches babies anything, so I stopped. With my second, I didn't even bother. He was worn a lot, but I didn't stress out about it at all. Both my boys have plenty of upper body strength (too much for my tastes ) and were both early walkers, so I think I did something right.

I have to wonder what people did before we had helpful doctors telling us that we need to put babies on their tummies for X minutes a day. Somehow I doubt that they all ended up with delayed upper body development.
Originally Posted by Kaia

Agreed. Just because they came up with a term for it, doesn't mean it's necessary.

Bailey hated it. No matter what I did she wouldn't get used to it and it just made her miserable. Why am I forcing her to be miserable? I fell for all that book stuff with my first and I feel like i just forced her to do all this stupid crap. With the second, I let things happen naturally.

I positioned her on her side, or certain ways while she was in the swing, and we used the Boppy often, and I held her upright. She could hold her neck/head up at an early age.
I have to wonder what people did before we had helpful doctors telling us that we need to put babies on their tummies for X minutes a day. Somehow I doubt that they all ended up with delayed upper body development.
Originally Posted by Kaia

They put their babies to sleep on their tummies...because that's how babies usually sleep best. I would venture a guess that humans have been putting small babies on their tummies for sleep since the dawn of humankind. Structured "tummy time" recommendations came about because so many babies were delayed in reaching their developmental milestones, directly related to the Back-To-Sleep campaign. Babies really are delayed because of BTS. It's not a bullsh1t diagnosis.
I have to wonder what people did before we had helpful doctors telling us that we need to put babies on their tummies for X minutes a day. Somehow I doubt that they all ended up with delayed upper body development.
Originally Posted by Kaia

They put their babies to sleep on their tummies...because that's how babies usually sleep best. I would venture a guess that humans have been putting small babies on their tummies for sleep since the dawn of humankind. Structured "tummy time" recommendations came about because so many babies were delayed in reaching their developmental milestones, directly related to the Back-To-Sleep campaign. Babies really are delayed because of BTS. It's not a bullsh1t diagnosis.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Hmm, I guess there lies my "problem." I never listened to all the BTS stuff either. Both of mine slept on their sides, and I certainly wasn't about to keep flipping them onto their backs several times a night.

Really, I think it's very sad how many "rules" we have now for raising and caring for our children. Mothers feel like they have to either let their babies cry or "break the rules"--either way, you end up feeling like a crappy parent. I think we'd be so much better off if doctors told mothers to rely on their instincts and ask questions when they were concerned about something. Instead, we give a long and conflicting list of do's and dont's that is simply impossible to live up to. Alright, I'm going to get off my soapbox now.
*Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
I have to wonder what people did before we had helpful doctors telling us that we need to put babies on their tummies for X minutes a day. Somehow I doubt that they all ended up with delayed upper body development.
Originally Posted by Kaia

They put their babies to sleep on their tummies...because that's how babies usually sleep best. I would venture a guess that humans have been putting small babies on their tummies for sleep since the dawn of humankind. Structured "tummy time" recommendations came about because so many babies were delayed in reaching their developmental milestones, directly related to the Back-To-Sleep campaign. Babies really are delayed because of BTS. It's not a bullsh1t diagnosis.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Hmm, I guess there lies my "problem." I never listened to all the BTS stuff either. Both of mine slept on their sides, and I certainly wasn't about to keep flipping them onto their backs several times a night.

Really, I think it's very sad how many "rules" we have now for raising and caring for our children. Mothers feel like they have to either let their babies cry or "break the rules"--either way, you end up feeling like a crappy parent. I think we'd be so much better off if doctors told mothers to rely on their instincts and ask questions when they were concerned about something. Instead, we give a long and conflicting list of do's and dont's that is simply impossible to live up to. Alright, I'm going to get off my soapbox now.
Originally Posted by Kaia

I agree with you. I never did BTS or Tummy Time with my kids either. But I can usually guess when someone is following BTS guidelines because they'll say their baby doesn't like tummy time. Most tummy sleeping babies LOVE being on their tummies because they quickly get strong enough to push up and see stuff. They're the ones who hate being on their backs.
I agree RCW & Kaia. I see so many little ones with delays because they hate being on their tummies. I also think all the baby equipment contributes to the problem. Some kids spend all day in the swing, exersaucer, bouncy seat or jumperoo and get little or no time on the floor or being carried. I can tell those kids right away, because all they want to do is rock or jump when held.

I love baby-wearing but I'm also a supporter of getting down on the floor and playing with kids whenever there is a chance to relax together.

I think with Jess's baby though, the issue is probably the reflux. If you can get the pressure off her belly and find something that motivates her to lift her head, she should get stronger and learn to play in this position.
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I hope it's just the reflux..she gets pretty uncomfortable without her medicine, I think she has it pretty bad. Come to think of it she doesn't love being on her back either, she's always coughing and spitting, I can tell stuff is coming up her throat.

I'm going to keep trying the tummy time. She can hold her head up and turn it side to side no problem when I'm holding her over her shoulder or on my lap. She has lifted it when she's been on her tummy but she doesn't last long before she's crying. I actually got a couple smiles out of her during tummy time yesterday before the meltdown set in.
3a fine hair (I think)

CoN poo and Biolage Conditioning Balm
I love CK and B&A gel...I like HETT Mousse

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