Your baby is most comfortable on her stomach because that is how she has spent a majority of her life. Tummy time is unfamiliar and physically tough because all those muscles haven’t been worked out enough to give her any range or motion. She may even feel abandoned in that position because she can’t move her head to see around. However. the reasons your baby is uncomfortable are the reasons she needs the practice. She’ll use tummy time to learn how to roll over, crawl, stand up, cruise, and walk. Here’s how you can help.
1. Have tummy time on the bed.
If laying on the floor isn’t your thing, lay baby on your bed. Sit or kneel on the floor so you are eye-level with baby. Baby will have a soft surface and you’ll be able to comfortably interact. Remember not to walk away even for a second. One of my babies rolled over at 10 days old. Falls happen more often that you think.
2. Provide some entertainment.
Give your baby something to do to keep her mind off the uncomfortable position. Bring a favorite toy or book within reach. It’s worth it to invest in a toy designed for tummy time that has a variety of switches, noisemakers, mirrors, and moving pieces.
3. Get your timing right.
Like anything else, it’s a bad idea to introduce your baby to something new when she’s already cranky. Try to schedule tummy time long enough after feeding so she has had some time to digest, but not so close to the next feeding that her tummy is empty. When she starts to get fussy on her tummy, coax her to stay for a few more minutes. When the crying starts, the session is over. Her tolerance will increase with each session until one day she can roll over on her own and tummy time is a thing of the past.
4. Get down on the floor with baby.
The surest way to make your punkin more comfortable is to be right there beside her. Lay on the ground next to her so she can see your face and know she’s safe. With a few toys you can help baby work out her muscles by reaching and pushing herself around.
5. Lay something soft beneath baby.
You or I wouldn’t want to lay stomach-down on a hard surface and neither does your baby. Lay her down on a play mat or soft surface so she doesn’t hurt herself on tile, wood, or linoleum. The PunkinWrap is a great tummy time surface – it’s soft, but not bulky, so it’s easy to carry on-the-go. If you are visiting friends or family with pets or less that stellar cleaning habits, lay the PunkinWrap on top of the rug, carpet, or a blanket and you don’t have to worry about pet hair, dust, or dirt in your baby’s hands or mouth.
6. Have tummy time on your tummy.
The goal of tummy time is to stimulate your baby and offer a chance to work out the legs, arms, chest, and abdomen. It doesn’t have to be on the floor. Lay on your back and let baby lay on your stomach. The proximity to you will quell any anxiety and offer lots of fun interaction.
7. Prop baby up.
Sometimes discomfort comes from being at an unfamiliar angle…especially if baby is digesting her last meal. Using a nursing pillow or simply a rolled towel, you can prop baby up underneath her belly so she has a better view of the world. This will also encourage her to hold her head up and move it around to see the room.
Guest Blog by Laura Gravett, Inventor of PunkinWrap
Laura, a mom of two, is the inventor of PunkinWrap, a multi-use car seat cover and baby wrap. PunkinWrap is the only wrap purposely designed to multi-task as a blanket, car seat cover, sunshade, changing pad, tummy time mat, and nursing cover. The 7-in-one baby solution can be placed over baby while nursing, over the car seat, or over the stroller to keep baby protected from the sun at all times. The wrap is lightweight and breathable so baby is always comfy. Plus, it also gives baby privacy while sleeping and protects him from the other elements like rain and wind.
More so, Laura is a former nanny with a degree in psychology who formerly worked at Yale University doing research. As an Atlanta native and currently residing in the best suburb of Atlanta: Roswell, Laura and her husband love their community. Laura volunteers on various committees in their city to help give back in any way she can. Laura and her husband spent several years taking care of rescue dogs – transport, intakes, fostering, etc. and had to step away a bit once they had their first child. The Gravetts now have two children (girls ages 3 and 10 months) and three rescue dogs.
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