Frankie spent his first two weeks on his tummy flaked across my chest like most babies, during that precious bonding time. Over the next few weeks as he became more alert he decided he didn’t want to be face down in my abdomen, so then tummy time became no more.

At my last Public Health Nurse appointment, the nurse pointed out the obvious that Frankie was getting a flat head. She nagged for at least ten-minutes about how important tummy time was; motor skills this, muscles development that. Let’s just face facts, he HATES it.

Now as a result of despising tummy time he has yet to roll over from his front to back whilst on a flat surface, he is six months next week. He will sit up on his elbows for all of two minutes then he proceeds to plank the floor, kicking and screaming.

I’ve tried it all, couple minutes here, couple there and couple feckin’ everywhere. I make a shrine for my little babóg, surrounded by colourful toys. I’ve got on all fours, flopped about like a fish singing twinkle-twinkle many a times. One day he even grunted at me, pretty sure he clenched his fist in a temper too. How dare I put him on his tummy?

We have tried this…

Tummy Time

and this…

Tummy Time

and this…

photo 3 (6)

So I get how tummy time is an important aspect of the larger concept of free floor time BUT every year with every new baby there is a new technique to raise your baby. Personally I think tummy time in just a new-fangled idea to make up for the fact that babies spend way to much of their days on their back. Tummy time wasn’t a major concern four-years-ago. Kayla NEVER had tummy time, ever, she’s fine, and her motor skill and muscles developed just like any other kid.

Today I have decided to stop forcing tummy time on my little man, he doesn’t like, and I don’t even know why I tried for so long. Frankie is sitting up aided by a couple of pillows, he is able to support his own feet and loves bouncing around in his swing. His motor skills are developing just perfect too. He can pick up and grab any object in his path and manoeuvre it into his dribbly mouth. He can even hold his own bottle; bet you my PHN’s baby can’t do that. And we are signing, which is great for motor skills and muscle development, not that he has returned a sign yet but he recognizes them and he will sign over the next couple of months.

8 Comments on Tummy Time of Torture

  1. Yes! We had this problem. Molly hated it, you just needed to turn her to her front and screaming started. We tried so many things but nothing was of help. We even ended up going to physio for it but even those exercises didn’t help (one she did enjoy for a second or two was lying her across legs as I sat straight legged on the floor).
    We gave up with lying on her front and, as the physio said, tummytime is not just about being on their tummies, it is about strengthening their back and necks which can be done with them sitting, or with you lying on floor and holding baby above you in the air, or going swimming and letting them lie on their front and backs.
    When Molly turned 6.5 months she realised she could roll, and roll, and roll, and suddenly overnight (literally) she started enjoying being on her front. She is not 7.5 months and enjoys being on her front, her side, her back, rolling. We still go to physio and she has said that once their roll tummytime is less important as they are moving about etc.
    I worried so much about how “behind” she was but the minute she realised rolling was manageable there is no stopping her.

  2. It is difficult and very trying but I would persevere – it’s a viscous circle- floor time is important so they can learn to crawl on all fours rather than bum shuffle. It’s not just the fine motor skills that it reflects but also other areas of development like left right coordination which can affect simple tasks down the line such as issues with mixing letters up or putting d’s and b’s the wrong way round. The brain is a complex thing and any assistance in its development is key from an early age. Prior to the back to sleep campaign babies spend a lot of time on their tummies compared to now- I know it’s hard but I wouldn’t disregard it completely. My wee fella is 6 months next week also- due to severe silent reflux or tummy time was slow but with gentle persistence he’s certainly improved. He zips around on that ladybird now wholesale in circles! He’s not rolling either but he’s leaning weight on each side and learning the coordination before he’s pulls it off. He’s mad to getting sitting up all the time and will nearly do a sit up wen on the floor but with continuous interaction he is distracted from that and remains on floor time. I’m not saying I disagree with your regards on tummy time God knows there’s days I’d love to jack it in but I do feel its a major important factor in child development.

    • Hi Jen, thank you for your comment. If you were to see him, he gets so upset, snots, snuffles and squeals. It’s not fair to force something on him with with absolutely hates. He’s in a sling 3-4 times a week, sleeps on his side and snoozes across my chest at least twice a week. I cannot bring myself to continue trying tummy time. He may lack in tummy time but is more advance in other development stages. When he rolls over he might enjoy it, as he will be able to explore more but until then it won’t be part of my daily routine xx

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