Tummy time is essential from the first days after birth to help babies thrive. Experts have found that babies who don't spend time on their stomachs are more likely to experience delays in motor skills than babies who lie on their stomachs every day.
But there is only one “slight” problem: your 2 month old hates tummy time and it breaks your heart when you see your child feeling uncomfortable or cranky. You think of giving up tummy time for good. Your child will grow up with or without tummy time.
Hang on there.
Many young children hate tummy time at first, but with proper practice and some help from parents, they can enjoy tummy time and develop valuable skills at a young age.
In this article, we will go from the reason why your 2 month old hates tummy time to how to make tummy time more enjoyable.
What is tummy time? Why does my 2 month old hate tummy time?
Tummy time refers to the baby's tummy position when awake and supervised, tummy time can help your baby develop strong neck and shoulder muscles and promote baby mobility skills. Tummy time can also prevent a flat back of your baby's head known as positional plagiocephaly.
If the baby's head is left in the same position for a long time, the skull fragments can move causing the back of the head to flatten. According to Mayo clinic, while you should put your baby on his or her back to sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), tummy time gives babies a chance to experience a different position. This can help reduce the risk of a flat head. Tummy time can also help your baby build the strength needed to sit up, roll over, crawl, and walk.
Until 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) started encouraging parents to put babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, before that, most newborn babies all lie on their stomachs and are used to that position. Today, most babies are much more comfortable lying on their backs to spend time sleeping (not to mention spending time in car seats, swings, and bouncers).
So if your baby seems to have colic when lying on his stomach, no wonder. It's not just a matter of the baby not getting used to the tummy position, but it's also physically uncomfortable. It's hard for your baby to lift his head when he's on her stomach, and he can't see much of the bottom. Your little one may even feel abandoned. That's why some babies don't like tummy time.
Is it okay for babies to lie on their stomachs?
Tummy time brings a lot of benefits to your babies. Some of them are:
- Helps prevent flat formations on the back of a child's head..
- Allow your child to work muscles that are different from those he uses in his back. By doing push-ups, your child will develop the muscles in his arms, shoulders, upper back, and neck that will eventually be able to lift his head.
- Set the stage for motor skills such as reaching, rolling, sitting up, and crawling.
When should you start tummy time for your babies?
Tummy time should start right after birth as part of your daily routine. You can start with 1 to 2 minutes a few times a day. Over time, you can gradually increase it to 10-15 minutes, several times a day. You can start by placing your baby horizontally on your lap. As your baby gets older, you can put him on a mat on the flat floor to play.
My son was discovered with infant torticollis after the first week. Therefore, tummy time really helped a lot with softening his neck muscles. I let my son sleep on his tummy on top of my chest, so that he felt safe and comfortable. It gave me some rest and sleep time as well. Man, I hated the stress I had back then, but I loved to grab him and slept with him on my chest.
Make sure your baby is not hungry or tired when you put him on his stomach. Babies should not be placed on their stomach when they are hungry or sick as this can cause discomfort. Wait about an hour after your baby has eaten to avoid vomiting or acid reflux.
When your baby starts to cry, even if it's only been a minute on his stomach, try to calm him down a little longer by talking to him or playing with him.
A baby's tolerance for tummy time can be gradually increased with experience and with a little coaxing from parents. And many babies are more prone to tummy time when they can start rolling over and then they can roll themselves to the tummy.
How to increase tummy time
Have your baby lie on his or her stomach on a flat surface, facing you or next to you. To prolong tummy time, talk to your baby and offer him a favorite toy. Put a mirror that is hard to break in front of your baby so he can see his own face and make him more interested. You can change the position, from in front of the baby to the sides.
Lure your baby with attractive toys. Spread the toy around the child in a circle so that the child has easy access to the toy and help the child develop all the different muscles so that he can eventually sit up, crawl and walk.
Support your baby by placing a breastfeeding pillow under his or her chest and arms if he or she is initially resistant to or doesn't like lying on his stomach.
3 simple things to do when your 2 month old hates tummy time
A lot of babies don't like tummy time at first, but most start to adapt and prefer tummy time once they've built up the muscles needed to hold their head up. While waiting for your baby to enjoy tummy time, here are a few things you can do to help your baby get used to tummy time:
- Try exercising for short periods of time and several times a day. At first, let him lie on the stomach only for 1 to 2 minutes at a time. With such exercise, it will help the baby to relieve abdominal pain.
- Switch positions. Changing the landscape around the tummy tuck is sometimes enough to keep the tummy time longer.
- Baby foot massage. Massaging your baby's feet can encourage longer tummy time.
- Let other children play with your baby while he is on his stomach. Children can lie down on the floor more easily than adults, and they have lots of fun games to get other kids to play with. However, you just need to make sure to keep a close eye on both children.
Tummy time will vary with each developmental stage. By 3 months of age, most babies can raise their heads 45 degrees (forearm tilt). One month later, it will be up to 90 degrees (push up by hand). And around the age of 9 months, many babies start to crawl (although some babies start earlier and others never crawl, which is completely normal).
Even though it can be tough in the first couple of days for your baby, don't give up the tummy time yet. With your help and entertainment, your little baby can adapt and enjoy it quickly.
If your 2 month old baby hates tummy time, remember to arm yourself with some of his favorite toys, some colorful objects to distract him.