Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tummy Time from Day One

Tummy time. Some babies hate it, some just tolerate it. Mine, well, Monkey generally loves it. And I feel a reason she does is because we've been doing Tummy Time from the day we brought her home from the hospital.

What? From the day she came home? Yep. You see, I felt strongly that if we introduced her to things early, she wouldn't know to not like them. So, we started tummy time, among other things, the first few days and weeks of her life.

How did we do tummy time with a brand new baby? I'm about to tell you.

Typical Tummy Time

We did your typical tummy time, where we set Monkey on her tummy on the floor. But, we also lay down on the floor next to her. When she was too young to have head control, we would be sure to lay on the side that her head was turned to. As she gained more control, I would switch which side I was on so she could start to learn how to turn her head in a specific direction.

The key to this method when they are so young is to be right by them, and talking to them. Reassure them that you are right there, they are doing great, isn't this fun, you just lifted your head!, and so on. If Monkey is having a particularly difficult time (a little fussy), I will rest my hand on her back or stroke her hair. However, we do not force her to keep doing a session if she is distressed.

Now that she's older, I will place several toys within her reach, on the floor around her as we do tummy time. She likes looking at them, but has yet to reach for them since she's still figuring out what her arms are supposed to do while on her tummy.

Alternative Tummy Time for Newborns

This is a method we used when Monkey was less than a month old. After that we only did traditional tummy time.

One of us, usually my husband, would lay flat on our back on the floor. We then would let Monkey lay on her stomach, on top of us. So we are laying belly to belly, as pictured below.

This is what worked for us. She never fussed or got distressed when we did tummy time like this. Which makes a lot of sense, being so fresh from the womb where she hears my heartbeat all the time, this position allowed her for full body contact with us, hearing our heartbeats, and feeling us breathe.

Of course, this wasn't a a magical solution. She still has times where she is not going to have it with tummy time, but I feel like she does a lot better than she could be doing when I talk to other moms about how their babies cope with tummy time.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!

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