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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!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 20-Nov-12 01:42:25

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'.

Yup, but that's most parenting advice for you. Here's how you do it

1. Get evidence gathered in extreme circumstances (the Bucharest study is always a goody)
2. Twist/extrapolate evidence to apply to totally different situation
3. Issue guidelines
4. Guilt trip parents mothers if they don't follow them to the letter

piprabbit Tue 20-Nov-12 01:49:33

I think a lot of parenting advice starts out being published as 'guidance' and ends up being used as 'rules'. It seems to be a form of chinese whispers.

I'm not sure if this is the fault of poor communication from the originators, HCPs liking to give their clients very black and white information or parents thinking that there is only ever one right way to do things.

valiumredhead Tue 20-Nov-12 08:46:21

12 years ago I'd never heard of tummy time - I had heard of putting babies on their front IF they liked it though wink

SamSmalaidh Tue 20-Nov-12 09:12:56

What's the Bucharest study?

ToffeeCaramel Tue 20-Nov-12 09:18:08

That's very interesting info charliesweb I wish a hv had told me that information when mine were small. People are always more likely to do something if they know the reasons for it.

Merrylegs Tue 20-Nov-12 09:25:44

Blimey. The things you learn.

But that does actually explain why the teenagers in my house are always horizontal.
Lounging around. Loafing. Mooching. Heads lolling.

If only Tummy Time had been invented when they were babies.

Actually, I might introduce it now. They're already up and running with the whole learning to talk thing. They can even put two words together. 'Want breakfast.' 'Where's pants.' 'Need lift.' 'Back late'.

notwoo Tue 20-Nov-12 12:09:39

I don't know why people get so sarky about things that hadn't been 'invented' when their children were little. Many of you were probably putting babies to sleep on their tummies so it wasn't as important for them to spend time awake there.

Charliesweb has given some good information based on sound research.

No, it's not the be all and end all and most people don't need a twee name for what is probably common sense but why sneer at progress?

hazeyjane Tue 20-Nov-12 13:41:26

I also don't understand how people can be so sarky (you don't see many children with wonky heads/ unable to lift their heads up etc), when several posters (me included) have come on and talked about their own children with neck problems, poor gross motor skills and developmental delay.

When ds was under 7 months, I had no idea that he would have the difficulties he has now. Tummy time was and is important for him, and for many many other children. And yes most of you will have older children who have never had tummy time, and it didn't do them any harm. But you don't necessarily know that when your baby is tiny, which is why tummy time is recommended as a good thing to do to help development, just in case there are problems in the future.

charliesweb Tue 20-Nov-12 18:56:59

I am the last person who wishes to send anyone on a guilt trip about their parenting. I spent far too much time doing that to myself with my own babies. I nearly didn't post because I was worried people would feel under pressure and stressed about 'getting it right'. If my post did make anyone feel like that I apologise unreservedly.

I posted because whilst the impact of the back to sleep campaign has been highly effective and successful in reducing cot death, an unfortunate by product seems to be that babies are now not spending any time on their fronts to the detriment of the physical and cognative development. Sally Thomas (an expert in the early years) has the saying "back to sleep, front to play."

Of course putting babies on their front to play is not new (Sally Thomas, a strong advocate of 'tummy time', is herself 76). I think before the back to sleep campaign it was probably very natural for babies to spend time on their fronts. There certainly seem to be lots of old photos of babies in gardens playing on rugs on their fronts etc.

I do think if we understand why some of the recommendations are made it can better help us make decisions about what we are going to do with that advice.

CecilyP Tue 20-Nov-12 18:58:40

I had never heard of tummytime till I discovered mumsnet. When was it invented?

SantasHugandRollintheSnow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:11:36

In 1996 when the back to sleep campaign came in and babies no longer slept on their stomachs.

Paid our first £500 for ds2 star band. His head flattening has a difference of 19mm. The remaining amount up to £1950 has to be paid by 4th jan. I wish I'd known about tummy time before the problems were already there.

piprabbit Tue 20-Nov-12 20:35:05

Tummy time came in around 2005 - after DD was born but before DS arrived.
I remember the publicity coming out and discussing it at NCT committee meetings.

FryOneFatManic Tue 20-Nov-12 20:47:07

You know I never knew about this, never had anyone tell me anything about tummy time. However, both DCs enjoyed being in different positions and looking back they weren't on their backs all the time so I guess I must have got something right.

In fact, if I remember right, they both enjoyed being on someone's shoulder a lot, looking around and seeing everything.

ToffeeCaramel Tue 20-Nov-12 20:50:17

Why are some babies prone to flat head syndrome and some not? Is it to do with softness of the skull?

Fakebook Tue 20-Nov-12 20:51:10

Yanbu! I did "tummy time" with dd. she was my pfb and I had loads of time to sit and play with her and she loved it. DS I didn't have time for all that crap and he was like your dd and would scream when put on his belly. I didn't bother and he's cruising and standing now at 10.5 months.

Fakebook Tue 20-Nov-12 20:53:12

Oh but I must add, DS could turn and support his head himself from birth, so I didn't worry about flat head syndrome because he didn't keep his head in one place.

Lollydaydream Tue 20-Nov-12 20:59:02

Just want to totally agree with hazeyjane; how about being grateful you haven't had to find it why these things are important rather than sarky.
To the op if you can get a mirror on the. floor that can make it more interesting.

FoxSake Tue 20-Nov-12 20:59:19

Never did tummy time, dd normal 7 year old who can walk, rolled over at 5 mo and learnt to push herself up a bum shuffled not a crawler,very clever even if I do say so myself.

Ds now 5, army shuffled at 6 months and took on the world a month after a keen sports man grin pretty well co ordinated. Was early crawler, twas a nightmare.

11 month old baby, crawling from 6 months but then progressed to bum shuffling in the manner of an ape, I think it's evolution, now taking her first steps able to climb like a mountain goat hmm. Don't bother Getting your self stressed they don't go to school with weak wrists, unable to walk, wearin nappies, enjoy her.

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 20-Nov-12 21:01:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

boobyboo Tue 20-Nov-12 21:08:47

Severe plagiocephaly does tend to occur when there is an underlying problem of torticollis (tightening of the neck muscles). As the baby's head is stuck in one position, he/she is likely to develop an asymmetrical flattening.

I think, though don't know, that such babies are more likely to be extremely resistant to tummy time. I knew about its importance and tried to do it a lot with DTS, but he screamed and screamed and wouldn't lift his head - due no doubt to the undiagnosed underlying physical issues.

It is a complete fallacy that this type of severe asymmetrical plagiocephaly is caused by a child just being left in the car seat all the time, although that can cause some, generally more symmetrical, flattening. It's quite hurtful, but also convenient for the NHS to regard this as a problem of women who are "lazy mothers" with "carseat kids," as then they are not obliged to look seriously into the issue of plagiocephaly, and, god forbid, actually fund treatment.

Tummy time is really important though, whether a child has underlying physical issues or not. It's important to be able to be free to develop movement whether on the front, back (not restrained in a car seat or bouncer) or in their mother's arms/sling.

HappySeven Tue 20-Nov-12 21:14:10

My DS hated it too and so did I (he had reflux and it was a messy business). A friend who is a children's physio recommended trying it with a rolled up towel under his arms to give him a little support. She also said a bumbo can help with core strength. I was a bit lazy about the whole thing to be honest and he's now 6 and doesn't seem to have suffered. sorry pure anecdotal evidence

SantasHugandRollintheSnow Tue 20-Nov-12 22:00:01

leonie you're probably right wrt it being a concept as such.

booby ds2 had a torticollis hence his severe plagiocephaly. We have done fundraising for about half the cost and family are helping us out with a bit more too. It really bothers me the Nhs won't fund this unless you live in Leeds or bristol as ds2's isn't just cosmetic. He had his scan today and his forehead, eye sockets, cheek bones and jaw line are misaligned which probably explains why when he has a bottle at least an oz ends up down his front as he can't form a seal around the teat properly. Can't see how that's "cosmetic".

BertieBotts Wed 21-Nov-12 08:14:05

YY tummy time came in a good few years after back to sleep. Back to sleep came in and that was all great, but it took say 5 or so years for the majority of parents to shift to doing it (as, if you'd done one thing with your first and they were fine you're less likely to adopt new advice for your second) and then 5 or so years for the increase in fine motor problems to appear as a big issue - I think it was picked up in schools?

So all these people saying my 12, 14, 15 year old never did it and they were fine - you wouldn't as it wouldn't have been known about then! Back to sleep came in 16 years ago now and tummy time must have come in somewhere in the last 5-10 years. I don't remember my stepmum saying anything about it when my brother was small, and she was the ultimate in PFB worriers grin

afterdinnerkiss Wed 21-Nov-12 08:25:18

we never could do 'proper' tummy time as DD (high-needs darling) hated it and screamed incessantly if placed on her back - until she was 8 months and could flip over herself. we had simply stopped trying to force her to lie on her tummy, expecting her to be content when she was ready. she loved being held upright though and being walked around with, neck supported, so we did that much.

so tt really not necessary - certainly not against the will of the DC.

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