5 Strategies to Win Over Your Baby’s Resistance to Tummy Time

As a new parent, one of the most exciting and challenging things is watching your little one grow and develop. From learning to crawl, to taking their first steps, each milestone is a special moment. However, there is one developmental phase that many parents dread – tummy time. While it may seem simple enough, some babies absolutely hate being placed on their stomachs. But fear not, if your baby despises tummy time, you are not alone. In this article, we will explore why tummy time is important for your baby’s development and provide tips on what to do if your little one resists this essential activity. So let’s dive in and help your baby learn to love tummy time!

Why Tummy Time is Important for Your Baby

Tummy time is a crucial activity for your baby’s development. It refers to the practice of placing your baby on their stomach for a certain period of time while they are awake. This allows them to strengthen their neck, back, and arm muscles which are essential for achieving milestones like crawling, sitting, and walking. Tummy time also promotes better head control and prevents the development of flat spots on the back of the head.

One of the main reasons why tummy time is important is that it helps prevent delays in motor skills. When babies spend too much time lying on their backs, they may develop weaker muscles in their upper body which can affect their ability to reach developmental milestones. Tummy time also provides sensory stimulation by allowing babies to experience different textures and surfaces with their hands and face. This can help develop their sensory processing skills.

Tummy time also plays a key role in preventing plagiocephaly, commonly known as “flat head syndrome”. This condition occurs when infants spend too much time on their backs, leading to a flattened appearance on one side of the head. Regular tummy time reduces this risk by evenly distributing pressure on the skull.

Another significant benefit of tummy time is that it promotes social interaction between babies and caregivers. As your baby spends more time on their tummy, they will start reaching out to objects and exploring their environment with increased curiosity. This can lead to bonding with you, as you are likely to interact with them during this activity.

It also aids in digestion and relieves gas. The gentle pressure placed on your baby’s stomach during tummy time creates a natural abdominal massage that can help alleviate discomfort from gas or constipation.

Signs That Your Baby May Hate Tummy Time

While tummy time may be essential for your baby’s development, some babies may not enjoy it as much as others. Here are some signs that your baby may hate tummy time:

– Immediately fussing or crying when placed on their stomach.
– Resisting by arching their back, pushing themselves backward, or turning their head to the side.
– Shortening the duration of time they are willing to spend on their tummy.
– Inconsolable crying during tummy time sessions.

If your baby is displaying any of these signs, it is important to address the issue and make tummy time a more enjoyable experience for them.

Reasons Why Your Baby May Hate Tummy Time

Understanding why your baby may dislike tummy time can help you find solutions to make the activity more pleasant for them. Here are some reasons why your baby may hate tummy time:

Underdeveloped Muscles

As mentioned earlier, tummy time helps strengthen muscles in your baby’s neck, back, and arms. However, if these muscles are still developing, it may be challenging for your baby to support their head or lift themselves up. This can cause discomfort and make them dislike being on their tummy.

Reflux or Gas

Babies with acid reflux or digestion issues may find lying on their stomach uncomfortable. This can lead to fussiness and crying during tummy time.

Sensory Overload

For babies who have difficulty processing sensory stimuli, being placed on their stomach can be overwhelming. The different textures and surfaces they encounter can be too much for them to handle, causing agitation and dislike towards tummy time.

Not Enough Floor Time

Some babies may not be used to spending extended periods of time on the floor if they have been held or kept in a bouncer or swing for most of the day. The transition to lying on their stomach can be hard for them, and they may resist this change.

Tips to Make Tummy Time Enjoyable for Your Baby

If your baby hates tummy time, there are several things you can do to make the experience more pleasant for them. Here are some tips to make tummy time enjoyable:

Start Early

The earlier you start tummy time with your baby, the easier it will be for them to adjust. Newborns can spend a few minutes on their tummy a few times a day, gradually increasing the duration as they get older.

Use Distractions

To keep your baby occupied and entertained during tummy time, you can use toys or objects that will grab their attention. You can also use a mirror in front of them so they can see their own reflection.

Make Sure Your Baby is Comfortable

Ensure that the surface your baby is lying on is comfortable and soft. You can use a blanket or playmat for added cushioning. Also, make sure their clothes allow for easy movement of their arms and legs.

Incorporate Tummy Time into Daily Routine

If your baby is used to following a routine throughout the

Why Tummy Time is Important for Your Baby’s Development

Tummy time refers to the practice of placing your baby on their stomach while they are awake and supervised. This position allows them to strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles, as well as develop their motor skills. It also helps prevent flat spots from forming on the back of their head. While it may seem uncomfortable or even distressing for your baby at first, tummy time is crucial for their development.

During the first few months of life, babies spend a significant amount of time lying on their backs. This can lead to flattening of the head, which is known as positional plagiocephaly. Tummy time helps to counteract this by evenly distributing the pressure on your baby’s skull and promoting a rounder head shape. Additionally, tummy time helps babies learn how to push up and eventually roll over, which are essential milestones in their physical development.

In addition to physical benefits, tummy time also has positive effects on your baby’s cognitive development. Lifting their head and looking up at stimulating objects or faces encourages them to use their senses and interact with the world around them. Tummy time also helps with hand-eye coordination as they reach for toys or objects within their reach. As your baby grows stronger during tummy time, they will be able to engage in more activities that stimulate learning.

Signs That Your Baby May Not Like Tummy Time

Not every baby will enjoy tummy time right away, and that’s okay! It may take some getting used to, but with patience and persistence, most babies will learn to tolerate it and eventually even enjoy it. However, there are some signs that your baby is not comfortable with tummy time and may require extra attention or assistance.

If your baby cries excessively during tummy time or arches their back in discomfort, these are clear signs that they are not enjoying it. Other signs may include becoming very still or turning their head to one side only. Some babies may even develop a flat spot on one side of their head from always placing their head in the same position.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s body language during tummy time and try alternative positions or activities if they are showing signs of distress. Always remember that tummy time should never be forced and should always be done under supervision.

Tips for Encouraging Your Baby to Tolerate Tummy Time

If your baby is struggling to enjoy tummy time, there are several things you can do to make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable for them.

First, choose a time when your baby is well-rested and fed. A hungry or tired baby will be less likely to be cooperative during tummy time. You can also try placing a small rolled-up towel or blanket under your baby’s arms for support, which can make them feel more secure. Additionally, using tactile sensory objects such as soft toys or textured mats can help keep your baby engaged and distract them from any discomfort.

It’s also crucial to keep tummy time sessions short but frequent. Starting with just a few minutes at a time several times a day is better than forcing a longer session all at once. As your baby becomes stronger and more comfortable with tummy time, you can gradually increase the duration of each session.

Finally, remember to stay positive and encouraging during tummy time! Your baby will pick up on any stress or frustration you may have, so try to keep it fun and light-hearted. Singing songs, making silly faces, or using toys can all help make tummy time enjoyable for both you and your little one.

Alternative Ways to Achieve the Benefits of Tummy Time

If your baby really dislikes tummy time despite your efforts, there are alternative ways to help them achieve the same benefits and developmental milestones.

Firstly, you can try incorporating tummy time into your daily routine in smaller increments. For example, during diaper changes, you can lay your baby on their stomach instead of their back. You can also hold your baby upright against your chest or use a baby carrier that allows for tummy-to-tummy contact.

Another option is to encourage your baby to play on their stomach while on an inclined surface, such as a boppy pillow or infant lounger. This takes the pressure off of their head and allows them to gradually build up strength in their neck and shoulders.

Remember that every baby is unique and may prefer different positions or activities to achieve the benefits of tummy time. It’s essential to observe what works best for your little one and adapt accordingly.

When to Seek Help from a Pediatrician

In most cases, with patience and persistence, babies will adjust to tummy time and eventually enjoy it. However, if your baby appears to be in pain or refuses tummy time altogether despite all of your efforts, it’s essential to seek help from a pediatrician.

Your pediatrician can rule out any underlying medical issues and provide guidance on alternative

Q: Why does my baby hate tummy time?
A: Some babies may find tummy time uncomfortable because they are not used to being in that position. Others may experience physical discomfort if they have reflux or respiratory issues. It could also be due to boredom or simply not enjoying the activity.

Q: How can I make tummy time more enjoyable for my baby?
A: Start with short periods of tummy time and gradually increase the duration as your baby becomes more comfortable. You can also use toys, games, and songs to engage your baby during tummy time. Doing the activity with your baby and giving them plenty of praise and encouragement can also help make it more enjoyable.

Q: When is the best time to do tummy time?
A: You can do tummy time at any point during the day, but it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after a feeding. This reduces the risk of your baby experiencing discomfort due to spit-up or reflux. Many parents find that doing tummy time when their baby is most alert, such as after a nap, is most effective.

Q: My baby cries every time I put them on their tummy. Should I continue with tummy time?
A: It’s important to listen to your baby’s cues and not force them into an activity if they are expressing distress or discomfort. However, it’s also essential for your baby’s development to practice tummy time regularly. You can try different positions, such as propping up their chest on a rolled-up towel or holding them on your chest in a face-down position.

Q: What are the benefits of regular tummy time for my baby?
A: Tummy time helps strengthen your baby’s neck, back, arm, and leg muscles. It also allows them to develop their head control, which is essential for reaching developmental milestones like crawling, sitting, and standing. Tummy time also promotes healthy digestion and prevents flat spots on the back of your baby’s head.

Q: My baby still hates tummy time, what else can I do?
A: If your baby consistently shows distress during tummy time despite your efforts, consult with your pediatrician. They may be able to determine if there are any underlying issues causing discomfort and offer additional recommendations. Remember to stay patient and keep trying, as every baby is unique and may take some time to get used to tummy time.

In conclusion, tummy time is an essential part of a baby’s development and can help strengthen their muscles, improve their motor skills, and prevent future developmental issues. However, it is common for babies to initially dislike tummy time. As parents or caregivers, there are several things we can do to make this experience more enjoyable for our little ones.

Firstly, we should understand that every baby is different and may have different preferences when it comes to tummy time. Therefore, it is crucial to approach this activity with patience and find what works best for our baby.

Secondly, by incorporating various activities and toys during tummy time, we can make the experience more engaging and less overwhelming for our babies. These activities can include using a mirror or introducing colorful toys that they can reach out to while on their tummy.

Thirdly, ensuring that tummy time is done in short increments throughout the day can also help our baby’s gradually get used to being on their stomach. By gradually increasing the duration of tummy time, babies may become more comfortable with this position over time.

Moreover, creating a safe and comfortable space for tummy time with a soft surface and proper supervision can also encourage our babies to enjoy this activity.

In instances where a baby seems to resist t

Author Profile

Lian Chikako Chang
Welcome to Littldata! Our mission is to help parents streamline their family logistics with practical tools and insights. Whether you’re managing school schedules, extracurricular activities, or family outings.

Littldata offers an array of calendars, maps, lists, and spreadsheets designed to simplify your life. Our content is deeply rooted in research, ensuring that you have access to reliable and data-driven information.

Hi, I’m Lian Chikako Chang. I’m a data researcher and mom living in San Francisco. At Littldata, my goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing calendars, maps, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics.

From 2024, I have embarked on a new journey of writing an informative blog on the “Littldata” niche.

In this blog, I strive to provide valuable insights and answer queries on topics that parents frequently seek out. My focus is on creating content that is not only practical but also backed by thorough research.