Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To hate tummy time?

(99 Posts)
FrillyMummy Mon 19-Nov-12 19:21:19

My LO is 10 weeks old and every time I pop her on her tummy, she screams. I have pretty much given up on it now. I have her on my chest and on my shoulder where she gets to lift her head, but a few people have been v surprised that I'm not doing 'proper' (whatever that is) tummy time. She'll be ok though, right? I don't see many kids walking round who can't hold their heads up!

Startail Mon 19-Nov-12 22:11:58

DD1 screamed, I tried twice for about 30 sec.
Forgot to try with DD2

DD1 was late and not keen on crawling but brilliant at climbing.

DD2 crawled beautifully, but kept her feet on the ground.

Both walk at 14.5 months.

I don't think tummy time makes any difference.

Being dyslexic does, me and DD1 are.

I'm told I never crawled, but teleported when my parents left the room.
My non dyslexic DSIS crawled very fast.

hazeyjane Mon 19-Nov-12 22:13:11

I think it is a shame that when it is mentioned, there isn't a leaflet to tell people why it might be important, roughly how much time in a day to do it for and good methods to use if a baby doesn't enjoy it.

Ds also has reflux, and was very rarely on his back as a baby, he was usually on his side, sometimes on a reflux cushion, and mostly carried in a sling. He has had no problems with flat head, but it didn't help wrt crawling, sitting and playing with toys (all areas he was delayed in). His physio, was very keen on getting him crawling, because it helps with 'crossing the midline' which can affect things like reading, writing and balance when older.

PurpleGentian Mon 19-Nov-12 22:24:55

Good point hazeyjane - I knew about the tummy time / flat head link due to HV, but got no information on how much tummy time is recommended, and wasn't told that holding DS upright also counted as tummy time.

ToffeeCaramel Mon 19-Nov-12 22:28:39

My dd who is now 8 used to hate it and would scream, so i never did it. I haven't noticed any resulting problems, but i'm now going to read the other replies and see what effect it may have had on her!

hazeyjane Mon 19-Nov-12 22:29:20

AuntLucy, and others being a bit sarky - that is fine, and it would be great if all our children had 'normal' necks, and no issues with the shape of their heads, and full head control and no developmental delays - but considering a few people have been talking about their children who do have some of the above problems, your sarkiness (I know it's not a real word) doesn't sit very well!

PurpleGentian Mon 19-Nov-12 22:31:07

Incidentally, I've come back onto this thread, and noticed an ad titled "Baby Flathead Syndrome?" on the right hand side. That's apt, but kind of freaky.....

EdgarAllanPond Mon 19-Nov-12 22:31:07

dd1 - hated it, would cry
Ds1 - hated it at first - learned to turn himself eventually
DD2 - hated it, would cry
DS2 - is already learning to turn himself, hardly gets that much time on his back because we are always out and about and he feeds all fecking night

personally i think if they like being on their front, they'll learn to turn themselves.

all apart from Ds2 have had big flat heads, but then my husband has a big flat head (and his mum put them front-down to sleep)

FadBook Mon 19-Nov-12 22:31:53

I read this when dd was newborn: www.janetlansbury.com/2011/08/the-case-against-tummy-time-guest-post-by-irene-gutteridge/ and didn't feel as anxious. Janet Lansbury recommends no bouncers, walkers, jumperoos etc so I think this was a guest post backing this theory up. Thought I'd share it even though i wasn't aware of the risks of not doing tummy time until I read this thread.

colleysmill Mon 19-Nov-12 22:34:09

The chartered society of physiotherapy used to have some official leaflets on it but I'm not aware that these are widely distributed other than by physios working with children already identified as having delay, torticollis or other difficulties (and then parents are often more supported and given direct advice with this) I'm on my phone so can't link (not that I'm very good at that on a computer either!)

LaCiccolina Mon 19-Nov-12 22:34:58

I was told it counteracted a flat head from bring on back and also helped keep hips in alignment.

No idea if either true.

Never seen a flat headed child with a wonky walk tho..

BegoniaBigtoes Mon 19-Nov-12 22:35:21

Both mine hated it, refused to lift their heads up at all, cried and dribbled on the floor until I picked them up, so I stopped bothering. Neither of them crawled, but both are fit and strong with no floppy head issues.

It's the kind of thing you get worked up about when you have your first baby and everyone is comparing notes and spouting wisdoms and essentially having more competent babies than yours. After a while though you move on from that stage (well ideally...)

BegoniaBigtoes Mon 19-Nov-12 22:36:24

Oh and when DP tried to give 2-month-old DS an alternative form of tummy time by lying on his back and lifting DS up in the air above him, DS was sick in his mouth grin

I persevered with it when DD was tiny, because I thought it was to do with 'flat head' syndrome. She hated it to start, rolled at I think a fairly average 5 months, then proceeded to sleep on her front every night since (she's 2.6 now).

But all the HVs/midwives/group leaders (sure start community stuff) always said it wasn't specifically tummy time, more like Not Flat On Their Back time.

SamSmalaidh Mon 19-Nov-12 22:38:36

I don't think "tummy time" in itself is so important - what is important is "not leaving the baby lying on it's back in the cot/pram all the time time" grin

If you're holding/slinging your baby a lot of the time, or have them sitting up, I wouldn't worry so much. If they spend their days lying flat on their backs on a play mat or in a pram and nights in a cot then tummy time is pretty vital.

hazeyjane Mon 19-Nov-12 22:44:47

Fadbook, I notice that the lady who wrote that article does say, 'time spent on the tummy is extremely important to development, and babies choose to spend time in that position when the time is right (usually between 4-7 months)'

so she does agree that tummy time is important, but she assumes that all children will do it in their own time. I have had 2 children who didn't do it of their own accord (ds still struggles to roll now, at 2.4).

Lacicciolina - ds hasn't got a flat head, although it does have a tendency to slump, and a very wonky walk.

Mousefunk Mon 19-Nov-12 22:47:23

Supposed to stop them getting a flat head isn't it? Didn't with my first two. I gave them tummy time for half an hour a day because neither minded and by 2-3 months were rolling anyway so did it themselves and I held them pretty much all day but they still got flat heads. As soon as they were sitting up their heads curved again. End of story.

DD3 never has tummy time- no flat head wink

LeonieDeSainteVire Mon 19-Nov-12 22:48:17

Well I'm another one where 'tummy time' (awful, awful phrase) hadn't been invented when my eldest were small. I did try them on their tummies, they hated it so I didn't bother again. They seem quite fine at 14 and 10 and did as babies too!

It had been invented by the time I had my youngest but he hated it too so I didn't do it this time either. He did however have a noticeably squished and flat head when tiny (because he always slept with his head to one side) but it rounded out as he grew so I don't see it as a problem (for us, not saying I'm speaking for everyone).

TBH my babies spent most of their awake time in my arms, where are these babies who lie flat on their backs all the time!!

charliesweb Mon 19-Nov-12 22:51:15

Tummy time is much more than about strengthening neck muscles. Believe it or not its about your baby developing physical skills they will use later in life for reading and writing. It also helps with their brain development. For example, babies need to learn to scan or track from left to right and right to left with their eyes, they also need to develop their core muscles (body), next they will move onto the muscles in their limbs and finally their hands and fingers. There is loads of research that supports the importance of tummy time for lots of early development.
Sally Goddard Blythe has written about the importance of tummy time as well as other important aspects of childrens physical development and the links with their cognative development and is well worth a read. I'm fairly new to the subject so it's probably better to start with her if you want to know more.

charliesweb Mon 19-Nov-12 22:56:56

I would like to add that my middle child also hated being on her tummy and much preferred sitting up in her bumbo. She enjoyed being on her front more as she got a bit older and could be played with and entertained. I certainly don't want my last post make anybody feel guilty if their child hates being on the front. I just wanted to explain some of the other reasons why tummy time is recommended.

LeonieDeSainteVire Mon 19-Nov-12 23:01:18

Recommended charliesweb but not apparently essential. Certainly not worth getting parents and babies stressed over surely?

Generations ago babies were strapped onto backboards and tightly swaddled to help their limbs grow straight. It was considered very important for their development. Fashions in baby rearing change, babies not so much!

ReallyTired Mon 19-Nov-12 23:07:40

The best way to do tummy time with a small baby is biological nuturing

It must be scary to be put face first on the floor and not be able to see your mummy as well as uncomfortable.

Another link for those who want to do tummy time with a newborn is..

breastcrawl

There is nothing like a breastfeed to make a baby happy.

No one did tummy time ten years ago, but my son's class can all run about.

akaemmafrost Tue 20-Nov-12 01:17:54

I cannot believe I have two dc aged 9 & 6 and I have never heard of "Tummy Time" confused.

Don't worry OP my kids seem to have managed without it.

What other things have totally bypassed me I wonder <<scared>>?

mummyonvalium Tue 20-Nov-12 01:24:01

DS1 adored it. He had such bad reflux it was the only time he was confortable.

DS2 hated it.

The difference between them in terms of development was absolutely minuscule. About a week's difference in crawling. My sound belief based on medical evidence (a bit like the ff and bf debate) is that it is all overdone.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 20-Nov-12 01:28:13

DS hated it. Scrawny baby (25th centile) with 95th centile head. The physics just weren't in his favour, frankly. He also hated slings. He was happiest being held in a standing position on my lap or sitting, supported from behind. He never crawled, was an asymetric bum shuffler, walked at 15mo and then sort of started crawling when he was around 18 months when he got too tall to walk through the tunnels at soft play.

DD (3mo) LOVES it. Flips over onto her stomach at every opportunity, but is a chunky baby and all in proportion. Was born very strong already so never had that stage they hate where they cant lift their head off the floor and they're just thrashing about like a beached whale

piprabbit Tue 20-Nov-12 01:30:51

Tummy Time was introduced because a lot of parents read the advice about not putting babies on their tummies to sleep and became too scared to put them on tummies at all, even when awake and being watched/played with. People misunderstood the original advice and began taking it too far and applying it inappropriately.

Tummy Time just gives you permission to put your child in a range of positions, so that they can develop all their muscles and skills.

It seems ironic that advice which was created to counteract the effects of an overzealously applied piece of parenting advice is now in turn causing parents distress and worry in case they get it 'wrong'.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now