Q&A: Tummy time

Camilla writes:

"How important is tummy time? My daughter (7 weeks) screams
whenever I put her on her tummy. How bad would it REALLY be if I just let her
hang out in the bouncy seat during her quiet alert stage? I feel like I'm torturing her when I force her to stay on her stomach, and then the whole quiet alert stage is destroyed."

You know most of the time I say to do whatever gets you through it and
makes everyone happy, but this time I have to say it: Tummy time is

Tummy time lets your baby's brain and neurons and muscles and nerves and
reflexes develop progressively, they way they need to, to support more
advanced activities like crawling and walking and running 5Ks and
writing legal briefs and doing the Cha Cha Slide.

It's not the enforcement of tummy time that's important, it's the opportunity. So that means that you need to give her the chance to be on her stomach, but that it doesn't have to be painful, and that once she gets past that stage she's moved past it. So a baby who responds to tummy time by rolling onto her back doesn't need to be forced to stay one her tummy–she's developing appropriately by learning to roll over.

Remember the whole brouhaha about exersaucers? It's the same thing. The problem with saucers is that the kids don't get the chance to hang out on the ground and learn to crawl. It's the chance to spend enough time on the ground that's important, not advancing through a rigid series of steps to learning to crawl, as kids get there different ways. It's the time being allowed to work the movement through on their own. So as long as you're leaving your kid on the ground for enough time every day, saucers are fine to rotate through the repertoire of things to keep your kids engaged.

At any rate, the best summary of what happens developmentally during the tummy time months is written by Rachael Carnes of Spark Plug Dance in Eugene, OR, in this article "Great Stuff Happens Before Walking and Talking." And the best list I've seen of how to make tummy time fun and not torture is also written (not surprisingly) by Rachel in this article "It's Tummy Time!".

Thoughts about tummy time? One of the coolest things Rachael told me (back when we were in a mothers' group together when our 8-year-olds were babies) is that the way humans develop as babies is the reverse of what happens when we get old. So babies start out curled up and breathing, and develop greater movement abilities. And as we age toward death we lose those movement abilities gradually and end up curled up and breathing. A little morbid, but also extremely cool.

53 thoughts on “Q&A: Tummy time”

  1. One thing that made tummy time bearable when my kids were your daughter’s age was for me or my husband to lie down on our backs and put the kids on our chests or to lift them up on our bent knees. They were exercising their necks but had mom or dad to look at and talk to.Once she has a little more neck control, tummy time will likely improve greatly. Seven weeks is a hard age for that in my experience.

  2. One thing that made tummy time bearable when my kids were your daughter’s age was for me or my husband to lie down on our backs and put the kids on our chests or to lift them up on our bent knees. They were exercising their necks but had mom or dad to look at and talk to.Once she has a little more neck control, tummy time will likely improve greatly. Seven weeks is a hard age for that in my experience.

  3. I can’t find a link to support this (other than tons of anecdotal stuff), but doesn’t babywearing count as tummy time?My first LITERALLY did not let me put her down for the first 4 months (she was in screaming pain from unknown food sensitivities), so I wore her (tummy to tummy) constantly (again, literally). She did everything right on schedule despite the lack of “opportunity” and is one of those precocious 3.5 year olds whom everyone assumes is 6 or 7 because of her incredible verbal skills. Nothing stunted about her! 😉
    I would really love it if someone could dig up a link supporting the babywearing=tummy time thing.

  4. Have you tried tummy time on you? Lay down on your couch on your back. Place baby on you, tummy to tummy. Baby gets tummy time with reassurance of being close to Mommy. Everyone wins.

  5. I like your point about providing opportunities to do tummy time… On the other hand, my 3 year old used to hate hate hate it! If I put her on her Tummy she would scream and cry so much that I spent the next 30 min trying to soothe her. I stopped doing tummy time entirely. And then at 5 mo she rolled over and loooooooved being on her tummy!I tried to compensate for her lack of tummy time by having her sit up a lot and that worked out well for us. She developed completely appropriately, if not slightly early on certain physical milestones.

  6. This is awful, and I had repressed it until reading this, but…The bops had bad colic and was often completely inconsolable the first few months. She also hated tummy time. So when she had been rocked and changed and fed and cuddled and we were growing deaf and exhausted and on edge from the screaming, it was tummy time! If she was going to scream, she might as well do it on her tummy.

  7. How about trying the mini nboppy pillows – they look like nursing pillows? I remember dropping my wee one off at daycare and not realizing that the little pillows were for tummy time until I saw them doing it.And I agree with the above, part of the purpose of tummy time is to develop next muscles, so baby wearing can help accomplish the same goals.

  8. well, my bub hated tummy time too and we just kind of avoided it until we read the research about how important it was. so i think at around 5 months we decided to implement it. Started from doing it just 1 minute a day until we were up to 10 minutes. we did everything: lie down with him, roll a ball in front/behind/beside him to keep his attention, etc. and then he learned to flip over back on his back and there was the end of enforced tummy time. we also had the saucer but he wasn’t in that too often either. he also didn’t much like crawling–we have videos of him being a gigantic 10 month old who was almost ready to walk but could not/did not crawl! i think he started crawling at 11 months, did it for a few weeks, decided it wasn’t very efficient, and started walking. to this day he is still not very good with being on his tummy or back (like he gets kind of stuck…at 19 months!) i’m trying not to believe that it’s my fault 😛

  9. You know, we were not very vigilant about tummy time when our guy got all red-faced and crying, either. I’d second those who say use your own body as the best place for tummy time, whether that’s lying on your back with baby on your belly or baby in a sling (although I think the former probably does a better job of teaching baby to work against gravity).Also, this is terrible, because I almost always agree with everything Moxie says, and my pediatrician said the same thing as well, so that’s two pro’s I should be following, but I am not all that sure that bypassing tummy time has any long-term ill effects. Every tot gets motivated to be mobile at some point and will begin “exercising” in order to achieve this on his/her own. Timetables for walking, etc might be different for the olympic tummy-timers, but they all get there eventually.

  10. Ideas for tummy time:On top of you
    While you lay on your tummy next to baby, head to the side looking at child
    On the boppy
    With a mirror off to the side
    With a jingly jangly toy that you wiggle off to the side
    While you “airplane” child on your legs
    While you “airplant” child on your arms around the house
    I asked my pediatrician (who I love fiercely) about it. He said once the circumcision was healed that pretty much all the waking (non-eating) time was supposed to be spent on the tummy. And my jaw hit the floor and then he said, “Or 45 minutes a day.” But, that 45 minutes can be 1 minute at a time 45 times.
    Right after you change a diaper, you can flip the kid to the tummy on the changing table. Being up high, and having something to look at while being tortured might help.
    Maybe some closely supervised tummy time first thing in the morning in the crib where the kid can see you (or the cat or a stuffed animal) through the crib rails.
    If you have a kid who spits up anyway, might as well do tummy time right after eating witha blanket under the child, get teh spit up out, the crying over, and just have a little receiving blanket to wash rather than risk it and never know when the urp is going to come.
    I was a bit fanatical about tummy time with #2 and he still wound up with a flat and bald spot on the back of his head.

  11. Coincidentally, there is a big push at my son’s school (hes 7 years old) about tummy time not being just for babies. they now try to have kids reading books in the library on the floor on their stomachs and encourage it during quiet play in the classrooms. also homework can be done laying on the floor- apprently kids are still showing effect of the back to sleep campaign with not enough core strength. even kids who are on par or even seem above milestones, etc. so it goes beyond the infant/baby stage.

  12. I have to strongly second Moxie’s advice on tummy time. It is VERY important. My son hated it so I didn’t do it very often. Once he was able to sit up we abandoned it altogether. This was a mistake. He has subsequently had some motor issue which led to speech delays as well (everything is connected). I think part of it was his lack of tummy time. (***As a side, each child is very different. I’m not implying that if your daughter doesn’t get enough tummy time she too will have motor issues and/or delays. I think this was just a contributing factor for our son. I just thought you might want to hear a different perspective.***) We are making up for it now with Occupational and Speech Therapy. And, guess what….he spends most of his time during Occupational Therapy on his tummy! Trying to get a 19 month old to spend time on his tummy is much harder with louder screaming than an infant! And, now I have to be the “enforcer” and not just an opportunity giver. It’s not fun.I think the suggestions to do tummy time on you is a good one. Just make sure baby can use both of her hands to prop herself up, etc. Also, try to work up to longer stints on her tummy. Aim for 15-30 seconds at first a few times / day. Then work up to 1 minute, etc. You and your little one will get there. Eventually she will tolerate it better.

  13. My first loved tummy time. My second… well, she wasn’t so fond of it. And once she learned how to sit up, she never wanted to be on her tummy again. She started crawling from a sitting position.Anyway, three things come to mind:
    1. You don’t have to ruin the ENTIRE quiet alert time. Just a minute of it or so. Start with a short period and work up. You don’t want her to develop an association where tummy time equals something she hates, so the advice I always got was to start with the amount of time she would tolerate and work up from there. With baby #2, I started from literally about 20 seconds of tummy time and worked up from there.
    2. When baby #2 hated tummy time, I would let her spend more time after nursing pushing herself up on me. That seemed to help her work up the muscles she needed to not hate tummy time.
    3. A lot of people recommend just doing little mini-bursts of tummy time with every diaper change. So change the diaper, then flip her over on her tummy for a little bit.

  14. Ugh, tummy time.Rosie, now three, just mashed her face in the floor and screamed until she was at least 6 months old. I started out putting her on her tummy after every diaper change (so I’d remember to do it) but honestly it dwindled from 6-8 times per day to three to once to none. No more forced tummy time by 6 months. Once she could sit up on her own (shortly after 6 months) she’d start to reach for things and pull herself to her tummy on her own. Still hated it and screamed until I rescued her. She didn’t crawl until 10 months, but after that, she was fine on her tummy.
    Annie, now 5 1/2 months, is great at tummy time and always has been. She was barely a few weeks old and lifting her head, looking around. When she gets tired she just turns her head and puts it down. Now she can lift her whole torso up on her hands. No crying, no face-smashing-into-floor. I suspect she’ll crawl much earlier than Rosie did.
    As for importance of tummy time, I know that its important, I know the developmental issues that can happen if you don’t do it… but geez it’s hard to torture your baby several times a day when the consequences of not doing it aren’t apparent or immediate or even there at all.

  15. My baby didn’t like tummy time at first, either, but they do get used it and start to like it better. Remember, 7 weeks is really, really young. I don’t think my daughter liked much of anything at 7 weeks (except nursing and constant motion). I think if you do 5-10 minutes 3 times a day that is fine. Tummy time doesn’t have to be hours to be beneficial; you just need to have some.

  16. Umm…I hate to disagree with what sounds like Good Advice, but tummy time? Meh.My 3 kids have had next to zero tummy time because they didn’t like it and I didn’t have the time/patience to sit there and let them scream thru it. The first learned to roll over at 4 months and then spent lots of time on her stomach. The 2nd at about 5 months and the 3rd at close to 6 months. None of them seemed to suffer any ill effects and it was a relief not to have to “force” them into something at such a young age.
    As an aside, though, my kids have all done lots of babywearing in the Bjorn/Ergo (so an upright position), I wonder if this DOES count? The 2nd baby especially, she was practically glued to me until she was 8 months old and could crawl around herself, I couldn’t put her down for long on her back without screaming, let alone her stomach. Interesting.

  17. Meh, tummy time. We didn’t do it in any organized deliberate way because my son hated it. OTOH, we did do a lot of babywearing, colic-holding, and tummy time on daddy and mommy. Everything proceeded apace.Once my son could roll over, that was another story — then tummy time wasn’t a problem. And learning to crawl? lots of fun, especially on nakey baby days.

  18. I should add that while we didn’t push tummy time, my son spent most of his waking hours on the floor rather than in any of the assorted buckets that are available.

  19. Also to clarify, I didn’t use the exersaucer, swing or bouncy seat for my son. He hated those. My son was held, in a carrier or on the floor most of the time.

  20. I like to think that it’s simply more important that they are placed on the ground/grass/floor…either on back or tummy. I suspect that it’s really non-bouncy-seat, non-carseat that matters most. Your body moves differently when it is supported by cushy, body molded fabric. I think the cavemen left their babies to lay on their backs all the time and not necessarily on their tummies. I just try to do what I think would’ve happened naturally in the days of yore 😉

  21. Just weighing in to say that tummy time was loudly protested at our house as well, that it worked well to break it up into short periods (one minute or so), and that it does get better, especially when she realized she could reach more from a push-up position.Tummy time was also responsible for the one and only time she fell asleep on her own for the first 6 months of her life. Put her down, she fussed for 30 sec, then slept for 30 minutes. I think I watched her without blinking the entire time, but it was still a mini-miracle for me.

  22. Wow, frankly I’m amazed that any mother remembers WHAT she did with her kid at seven weeks, other than the feed ’em/nap ’em/change ’em cycle. :)Also, Rachel Carnes is amazing.

  23. just as a counter/weird example, Mouse loved tummy time, did tons of it, sat at 5 months, but didn’t crawl, scoot, or any other mobility until 12 months. walked at 16. go figure.

  24. I think in one of our birthing classes the educator specifically mentioned that having the baby held up on your shoulder, or in a Bjorn, or whatever, counted as tummy time. The point is to give the baby an opportunity to try to lift his/her head and look around. And yeah, my daughter was also much more amenable to it if she was lying on me, so that’s worth trying.

  25. Recent studies have come out that say that wearing your baby – in a wrap, upright, tummy-to-tummy with you, not in a sling – give you the same benefits of tummy time.So maybe try wearing her in a wrap, upright, safely until she’s a little older and then try tummy time again.

  26. our ped believes tummy time is overrated and i sort of agree with him. my boo hated tummy time so i asked about it’s necessity on one of his routine check ups. he said as long as they’re allowed to move around freely during the day and not cooped up in the bouncer all day then they should be fine. boo learned to rollover pretty quickly and crawl by the end of his 7 months. he started to walk right around his first birthday.

  27. Beth, that’s gonna have to depend on the type of sling. When dd2 is in a ring sling, she is in the exact same position, upright, froggy-legged & tummy-to-tummy w/ me, as she is in the Moby wrap. You can wear them just like that in a ring sling as a brand newborn, too.We don’t really do “tummy time” for two reasons: 1) Our babies sleep on their bellies. Bam, right there, no real reason to need awake tummy time. 2) I carry newborns upright over my left shoulder. This is the most comfortable way for me to hold & carry them & they get lots and lots of practice pushing back & holding their heads up.
    I also babywear a lot & don’t carry them in the car seat. This equates more tummy time, too. I see no benefit to making my infant to something that they hate so much that they would just lay there and cry for 10 minutes.

  28. I am anon for this for reasons that will become clear.Tummy time was SUCH a trial for both my firstborn and me, and backsleeping was SUCH a trial as well, that when my second came along? I … well, the fact is that I was tired. And one day when he was about two weeks old, I put him on his tummy to sleep. He slept 2.5 hours, and I never looked back (pardon the pun).
    And then I did the same thing for my third, who never slept even a day on his back.
    For the record, I was completely open about this decision with my sons’ pediatrician, and she was cautious but supportive.
    The second and third have reached their gross motor milestones much more quickly than my firstborn. They sat/crawled/walked much sooner. They were beautiful sleepers. And what a relief to not have to worry about that f#$%ing tummy time anymore!!!
    I know that backsleeping reduces the rate of SIDS — believe me, I know — but I do not believe that it is the best thing for babies’ development. And I am not convinced that tummy time makes up for the lack.
    Well, though my babies are healthy and happy, this decision was obviously a big deal for me, and I feel a need to confess.

  29. read Laura’s post and jumped ahead -don’t have time to see if I can dig out any supporting evidence to the tummy time/baby wearing connection but I had read it on more than one site. My son also HATED tummy time and we consequently didn’t do much of it BUT I used a Mei Tai with him from 2 months – 3 years, so I like to think that he got adequate core strengthening from that. (just for data points) He did get up on 3 once (semi-crawl), pulled up on furniture at 8 months, independent walking at 9 months(CARZYNESS I wouldn’t wish early walking on anyone), finally crawled for the first time around 13 months when he decided to chase the dog. People warned me about the lack of tummy time, people told me “He HAS to learn to crawl!”. At nearly 5 he seems just fine, is developmentally on track, and if very agile. Per many an Ask Moxie post I take all parenting directives with a grain of salt and have learned to trust my inner mommy voice.

  30. I agree with anonforthis. My younger son refused the swaddle, wouldn’t tolerate a sling, but also flailed himself awake if left to sleep on his back. A couple of nights of no sleep? I took everything out of the crib, stretched the sheet as tight as it would go, and laid him down on his belly.He slept for four hours straight. *I* however didn’t sleep a wink because, you know, the SIDS.
    I never tell that story to mothers desperate for sleep, however. Too risky.

  31. Once upon a time, when my four daughters were babies, when pediatricians told parents to put babies to sleep on their tummies for the exact same reasons they are now told to put babies on their backs, we never ever ever had to worry about tummy time.

  32. Agree completely with the “Ugh!” and “Meh” and “it’s probably overrated” sentiments about tummy time. And you totally read my mind exactly @anonforthis who lied to the ped about tummy sleeping. “Back to Sleep” can suck it, indeed! (I kid.)Look, you gotta do what works for you & yours. True confession time – I let both my kids sleep on their tummies well before the age at which the man says it is “safe” to do so, because that’s the only way I could get those low-sleep needs-having babes to actually sleep. Whatever works!
    I always thought the push for more tummy time is also because it is supposed to keep babies from developing flat or mis-shapen head due to back-sleeping/putting pressure on the same head spot. Our old ped warned me very sternly at DS’s 6 mos. appointment that DS would need a very expensive corrective helmet one day if we didn’t do more tummy time… and pointed out where DS’s head was already flattening on one side. I think we let him sleep in his carseat too much for the first 6 months of his life and that contributed to some flattening on his right side (because it worked and I have no regrets!). Then once he started getting more mobile, the flatness luckily went away.
    I also agree that “tummy time” can and should also be construed as “any time where baby can practice using her neck muscles, and where baby’s head is not pressing on something that could change the shape of the head,” which could certainly include being held in a sling or carrier.

  33. My colicky guy didn’t like tummy time at first, either. Spent a lot of time upright in the sling/wrap, though, and in the tummy colic hold (a la Happiest Baby on the Block). Later the pillow/boppy or having him on us helped w/ tummy time. But I don’t remember getting him to spend a ton of time on his tummy on the floor on a blanket (certainly not 45 minutes a day!).Re: stomach sleeping: as soon as my guy learned to role over (I cannot remember when that was…5-6 mos?) he started sleeping on his stomach and he still does (he’s a little over 3 now). I’m a stomach sleeper, too (wonder if it’s genetic?).
    Wow, I feel like I have total amnesia about all of this stuff. I’m prego w/ #2 now– glad to see little-bitty baby topics back on Moxie so I can refresh a bit.

  34. @Anonforthis – I have had extensive discussions with my son’s therapists about the “Back to Sleep” campaign. No one can deny that it has significantly reduced SIDS. However, I have a theroy that it has contributed to more developmental delays / other issues. It’s proven that it has contributed to more cases of positional plagiocephaly. However, I wonder if in 20 years there is going to be a study that shows other effects, like developmental delays, as well.

  35. I second the baby wearing/ lying on your chest all counts as tummy time. Rolling up an old school cloth nappy and putting it under their chest in a U shape can also help make tummy time a bit more bearable. It gives a bit of extra support but is not as high as a cushion to start with. That was a tip from my Mum’s physio – it made such a difference to how happy Missy Moo was on her tummy.

  36. My daughter hated tummy time too, and the truth is we didn’t really push it at all. Sometimes I would lie her down on her tummy for 5 minutes at a time here and there, but as soon as she got uncomfortable, I would pick her up. I talked to my pediatrician about it and she laughed when I “confessed” that I wasn’t doing enough tummy time with a worried look on my face. It was a relief when she assured me to do what I felt was right and it truly wasn’t that big of a deal. Now my baby is almost one, and everything is totally fine! She actually reached most of her developmental milestones early or right on time. In fact, she just started to take her first steps. So I wouldn’t worry about it at all! Follow your instincts mama – they will tell you what to do! Personally, I feel like tummy time is a “new invention” of sorts to stress us out and make us think that we’ll mess up our kids irrevocably if we don’t do it X number of times and exactly right… which by the way I think is pure poppycock. I always ask myself, what would I do if I didn’t have any books on the topic or a million confusing pieces of advice from various directions (and there are developmental books that do say that we shouldn’t put our babies in any positions that they don’t get into naturally by the way). What if it was just me, myself and I relying on instinct? The answer is usually always there. Just my thoughts – you’ll know what to do for your sweet babe after sorting things out. 🙂

  37. me again – should have mentioned that I did a lot of babywearing and also put my daughter on the floor on her back so she could exercise her limbs that way – so maybe those were good substitutes? And they were basically great tear-free solutions.

  38. my daughter loves tummy time and will happily play for 20 minutes – enough time to get the washing on the line. She’s 18 weeks today and has had good neck and back muscle control since very early on – only one instance of face smooshing. unfortunately she’s decided to be a cuddle-me-while-i-sleep baby as her little 4 month sleep regression thing…won’t stay asleep more than 5 minutes (day sleeps…night sleeps are fantastic – go figure!) unless she’s cradled in my arms. any tips? she co-sleeps with us at night which is amazing

  39. I’m with Carla Hinkle.Twins are a handy little portable laboratory, and here are our results:
    Milbarge loved doodling around on her stomach. She thought propping herself up on her elbows on the changing table was SOOPER AWESOME! so we did it an awful lot. The back of her head was as flat as a damned pancake for months. MONTHS. You could have used it to level a wall. It was ridiculous. Her head is now beautifully shaped, and not remotely flat.
    She has/had developmental delays in minor areas. She is currently as strong as an ox, and terrifically agile.
    Fitz-Hume regarded being on her stomach as a sick joke, and with good reason: Her head was fucking MASSIVE in relation to her body, and expecting her to be able to support that giant head on her little twig body was absurd, bordering on cruel. The only way we could even pretend to have ‘tummy time’ was if one of us held her head up, otherwise she just licked blankets and cried. She hated it, so we didn’t make her do it. Her head went through a few wonky stages, but is now shaped like a beautiful childrens’ book illustration from the 50’s.
    She walked, talked and spoke early. She is as strong as a slightly smaller ox, and quite nimble.
    I think this is one of those issues that, when you’re in the middle of it, FEELS terribly Important-with-a-capital-I, but isn’t really that crucial in the long run.
    Parenting is full of those.

  40. @T ” However, I wonder if in 20 years there is going to be a study that shows other effects, like developmental delays, as well.”Actually, not just your theory – but they seem to resolve in time:
    Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Nov;49(11):858-67.
    A review of the effects of sleep position, play position, and equipment use on motor development in infants.
    Pin T, Eldridge B, Galea MP.
    School of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, Australia. t.pin@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au
    Comment in:
    Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Nov;49(11):804.
    Since 1992, parents have been urged to place their infants on their back when asleep. The resulting lack of experience in a prone position appears to cause developmental delay in infants. Use of various infant equipment, except baby walkers, has not been examined thoroughly to establish their influence on the motor development of infants. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of sleep and play positions, and use of infant equipment, on motor development. Nineteen studies with evidence at level II were selected against the selection criteria and scored against the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Despite the generally poor methodological quality, the studies have consistently shown that there was transient delay in motor development for healthy term and low-risk preterm infants who were not exposed to the prone position or who did not use infant equipment. However, most of these infants walked unaided within a normal time frame. Limited evidence was found for the effect on more vulnerable infants. More rigorous longitudinal studies using outcome measures focusing on movement quality are recommended to understand any long-lasting influence on the motor skills in these infants.

  41. I’m going to officially side with the folks who say that tummy time actually IS that important. As someone whose PPD made it nearly impossible to stand listening to her kid scream, tummy time with an unwilling infant was torture for both of us. We hardly did any tummy time at all. As a result of that (as well as a variety of unknown other factors, of course), we had a 13-month-old who couldn’t manage to get into a sitting position on her own, much less crawl or walk. You can read all about our OT assessment and related stuff on my blog posts from the time, the most important of which can be found here:http://mind-flush.blogspot.com/2006/05/ohhhh-teeeeee.html
    OT therapist said that her problems were strongly linked to her lack of tummy time. Yes, I messed my kid up, at least temporarily. She’s fine now, although she’s always been MUCH stronger with one leg than the other and at five has just now started to alternate legs when coming down stairs.
    At any rate, if you’ve got a kid who’s a screamer, read through the posts for some of the ideas of what Denise had us doing to make it more bearable for the kiddo. She wasn’t an infant anymore when we were doing it, so some of them would have to be modified for infants, but you’ll get the general drift. The weight, for example, was sheer genius, and bouncing with her on the yoga ball worked well, too.

  42. It doesn’t have to be flat on the floor tummy time. It just has to be time where your baby can support his torso and head. Laying tummy to tummy with you scootched down on the couch “counts”. Holding the baby sitting on your lap so he can use his trunk muscles “counts”.Neither of my kid did much tummy time on the floor. First one hated it. Second one tolerated it. Both of them are crazy gross motor skill guys. They rolled back to front late (7 months) but otherwise are all about crawling, walking, etc… They never stop moving. Ever.
    So IMO, strict on the floor tummy time is not necessary.

  43. Anonforthis back again. This issue is clearly near and dear to my heart.A general question I have had after letting my two younger babies sleep on their tummies pretty much since day one:
    In all things newborn-related, we follow the baby’s lead pretty much without question. They cry for food, we feed them. They want to be held, we hold them. They are wet, we change them. Their tummy hurts, we soothe them. They are tired, we help them go to sleep.
    But when it comes to the sleep itself, we deny them what — I think — they really want, which is to feel safe and secure all curled up on their tummies.
    I’m not trying to be inflammatory. But I still find myself wondering why it had to feel so very wrong to give my newborns what they wanted to help them sleep — and ultimately, to help their development.
    Ah, motherhood. Is anybody *really* doing it right?? 😉

  44. @enu – Thanks for posting that! I’m glad that so far they haven’t found any long term effects. My son did walk within a normal timeframe as the research indicated. However, he continues to have motor imbalances. He strongly favors one side of his body over the other. I’m hoping this will be worked out with continued OT and time.@Gretchen – you could be describing my son! I’m glad to hear that at 5 years old she is not having any lasting issues. Just curious…did she have any speech delays too? The ST and OT have both said that when there are motor delays there can also be subsequent speech delays / problems. I’ve found that to be the case with my son.
    I can understand the perspective of all the moms/dads that didn’t do floor tummy time a lot with their children and they didn’t have any delays. If I were in that situation I wouldn’t think it was terriby important either. However, having a child who has had developmental delays as a result of lack of tummy time, I would urge new parents to give it a go. It is awful to hear your little one cry if they don’t like it. But, it is far worse to have to take them to therapy 2-3 times / week and have them cry there and cry more when you do the therapy exercise at home with them. I guess you just don’t know if your child will be one of the ones impacted by lack of tummy time until it happens. Why risk it? I’ll step down from my soapbox now. 😉

  45. @anonforthis…I’ve posted here several times that both of my children were tummy sleepers as infants (my DD, at 15 months, still sleeps exclusively on her tummy…my 4-year-old now sleeps any which way).I did all of the research on SIDs I could, and took what I think was a reasonably low risk. My children cannot sleep on their backs as babies. Will not. Do not. I tried with my 1st many, many times before I gave up and gave him what he needed. I tried once or twice with my DD, and then gave her what she needed. (Swaddling on their backs didn’t work. Swings didn’t work. Etc., etc.)
    Because they got all of that fabulous core and neck work from falling to sleep and waking on their bellies, I never worried about tummy time (they also spent hardly any time in strollers or other plastic things because they hated them). We wore them a LOT. My kids crawled for a long period of time and walked around 14 months. They’re both quite agile and have really good gross and fine motor skills. And yeah, their heads are lovely and round.
    I write this to any other mother out there who feels terribly guilty that her child won’t sleep on his/her back. I think kids are individual. I think Back to Sleep is useful for most kids, and torture to some. I think there are exceptions to everything, and I think we as parents need to use our good judgement and instinct to do what’s best for our unique kids.

  46. I would like to add something that has not yet been mentioned: putting awake babies on their tummies needs to start AS SOON AS THEY ARE BORN. There is something about tummy sleeping that is very organizing for a little baby, and back-sleeping babies miss out on this. I have never seen a newborn (we’re talking less than one week old) who instantly screamed about being on his/her tummy. But if you don’t start *that* early, babies forget that tummy is a good place to be. Don’t worry about their umbilical cord, don’t worry about their circumcision, they will be fine. They will lift their heads briefly, bang their faces on the floor, don’t worry; their noses will not break. If they bury their faces, give them 10 seconds or so to fix it themselves; they likely will. Of course, they get tired… some after 2 minutes, some after 10 seconds. Roll them over when they start to fuss, then roll them back to tummy when they’re happy again. And if they get this vestibular, tactile, proprioceptive experience of being on their tummies from the first week of life, chances are slim they will ever hate it.

  47. I just wanted to say that @akeeyu, you are hilarious and I always look forward to reading your comments. :DAlso, I’m an avowed tummy sleeper advocate, but this time around I have a Miyo baby hammock and OMG is it awesome! She obviously can’t be in the hammock on her tummy, so this is my first back-sleeping baby (and I’m mortified by the bald spot!). But she sleeps SO well, all cocooned up in it. Okay, not well. She’s waking to nurse every 2 hours, but she’s only 4 months old. It’s just really nice to be able to reach over and jiggle her back to sleep.

  48. Kidlet hated tummy time. HATED it. I totally sympathize with Camilla. My perspective is that people in this situation should pay close attention to their babies and follow their instincts. Kidlet’s head and neck control and arm strength developed perfectly well without actual tummy time, so we didn’t worry about it. We held him over our shoulders all the time and wore him in a sling every day, so it makes sense that he didn’t need actual ‘tummy time,’ but even if that research hadn’t come out, I would stand by my instinct.

  49. My kids hated the tummy time, too, so with #2, we skipped it towards the beginning. Instead of setting aside time to do tummy time, we put #2 in a bjorn and walked around a lot. Over time, as the neck muscles got stronger, he started liking the view of seeing the world upright rather than flat. And from there, at about 3 months, tummy time became fun.Learned to rollover ‘on time’ and learned all the other stuff quickly – we don’t regret swapping the tummy time for carrying in a bjorn

  50. I’m way late to the conversation, but three comments for the archives:1. We heard from several people at our hospital’s parent-baby class that being in a carrier where the baby is upright (like a moby wrap) also counts as tummy time. Reassuring since he spent tons of time in there.
    2. I used to put our baby on his tummy after each daytime diaper change while I washed my hands. If he wasn’t in the mood, it was just a quick moment of unhappiness, but often he’d be willing to spend a few additional moments there, and it was a relief to me not to have to schedule it.
    3. Give the baby something interesting to look at — black and white patterns seem to be an especially big hit at this stage, but the colorful mats are useless. Life sized photos of people might also work for some babies.

  51. It looks like he is having a great time! I think that it is a whtiowhrle cause rescuing animals. Though I have a cat, he was rescued by our neighbor and we adopted her cause she has 3 cats already.BTW, I hope everything is well with you!

  52. It really dendpes, in September after all the students come to town the service really tends to be slow, maybe only 2 to 3mbps in. I have regularly downloaded large files at 1MB/sec.It really dendpes on the remote end as well though. At our hosting facility where I have dual, dual redundant 100mbps connections (400mbps in total), our mirror server can only get a few megabits when talking to the fedora mirror server. It’s just overloaded Part of why we pay the extra for the 8mbps service is that it nearly doubles the outbound, from 500-ish kbps to 900kbps. That really helps with pushing out things and the line staying responsive. That’s the big benefit of a business-class service, the outbound. I’ve thought about getting one of the $100 T1 services that I’ve seen just to get the 1.5mbps out.Anyway, that’s my story. Yes, I can actually get 8mbps on large downloads.The point really was that the hotel had pathetic net connectivity, not that my home service is 8mbps. I’ve got quotes for next year for getting a DS3 in to the hotel. Because the new hotel has basically told us We can’t handle it now that they know what is involved.Sean

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