Trouble with "Tummy Time"

  • My baby is a little over 3 months, and HATES tummy time! Every time I lay him on his belly he will scream and cry or just fall asleep! I've tried laying on the floor also and talking to him, patting his back/butt to try to sooth him, and put toys that interest him usually around him. I'm afraid since he will not stay on his tummy long enough to do much of anything he will not learn how to roll over? Am I doing something wrong (this is my first baby) or is there something else I could do to help him start to roll over and enjoy tummy time more?

  • Try introducing tummy time when he is alert and not hungry. At first, he may only tolerate a few minutes of tummy time. Gradually, you will be able to increase this. Hang in there.

  • I echo MommyRN4's advice. Don't worry if tummy time only lasts a minute or two. Perhaps do it several times a day for one or two minutes. Eventually, the baby will get more and more used to it. Anything where the baby needs to lift his head and use his muscles is beneficial too. Try laying on the ground on your back and put his tummy on yours and talk to him for a minute or two. Sitting him on your lap and playing little clapping games is great exercise for his little tummy and back. Hang in there - it really does get better. 

  • My daughter hated tummy time as well.  Once she developed the strength to actually hold her head up though she didn't mind it so much.  She's actually a tummy sleeper now that she's older :)  Just be patient with him.  I had the same fears as you, but my daughter did learn to roll (probably out of necessity more than anything so she could get off her tummy!).  Keep doing what you're doing (with the toys and being there with him).  We also purchased one of those little floor gyms with the hanging toys.  Ours had a little elephant shaped pillow that I'd have my daughter lay on.  I think it helped her to understand that she could get her little face off the floor.  It also helped her understand rolling over...she would look up to see the toys which would cause her to roll off the pillow :)  Good luck!  I know how scary things can be as a first timer...I'm one, too.  These boards have been a huge help to me.

  • Just remember that even if your baby can rollover, they should be always be placed on their back to sleep. The AAP has a lot of great information here:

  • I know the feeling. Every time I lay my little man down. He screams! But I make sure he has been feed, diapered burped and love on. Then lay him down for one hour of tummy time before nap. He screams for a while then falls asleep. I put him on the floor in the living room and there I can keep a close eye on him. When he wakes up he is all smiles! Sometimes it is okay to let them cry for a little while as long as you know all of there needs are met!

  • @MommyRN4-- Oh yes, don't worry, I still put her down on her back.  But after her little "I'm not tired I'm going to crawl around and play" time she always ends up on her stomach or her side...usually with her cute little bum in the air :)  Thanks for the reminder though--definitely an important thing to remember!