Lovely, soft, squishy, pure, happiness! That’s babies for you.

Congrats! You’re a new (or soon to be) parent or caregiver to a beautiful, gorgeous baby.

The great news is that the excitement and joy is incredible.

The unavoidable truth is that there are more than a few challenges to come!

  • The sense of tiredness and not knowing what the heck to do for the best. If you find yourself on the living room floor at 8.30 in the morning after a night of getting up every hour or so to feed the baby, change the baby, just check the baby is still breathing and now you’re surrounded by baby stuff plus one crying baby and not a clue what to do next, remember you are not alone. Welcome to the club!
  • You are not the first and you certainly won’t be the last to wish that your baby came with a handbook telling you exactly what to do to keep him or her happy, calm and content.
  • There are enough amazing parenting books to fill a library with advice about everything to do with raising the “perfect” child and it can quickly become overwhelming (especially as you will never have time to read them all).

Along with the well-meaning opinions and ‘what I did with my baby’ suggestions, it’s so easy to become confused and frustrated or upset.

If your baby doesn’t react the way that the book, relative or health visitor says he should, it’s understandable how it could be easier to give up and avoid that activity for good.

Absolutely no one likes it when their baby is upset and it’s perfectly natural to avoid things that they may not take to immediately…

Tummy time is one of the activities that is often avoided because it can seem like it’s just too difficult to get right. To make things trickier, tummy time is still a relatively new and misunderstood term.

Tummy time came about when it was discovered in the early 90’s that it is much safer for your baby to sleep on his back to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome rather than be placed on the tummy to sleep which was the way it ‘used to be done’.

Because of this, babies were missing out on the important experience of playing on their tummies.

Since then, it has been noticed that an increased number of babies experience delays and difficulties with reaching milestones like rolling, sitting and walking. Crawling is often skipped altogether.

There has also been a huge increase in the amount of babies with flat head syndrome. Because of this, parents are advised to remember ‘Back to sleep, tummy to play’.

Having only been around since the early 90’s, most parents and grandparents of new parents have never even heard of the term. New parents may often get well-meaning advice from older relatives to ‘not worry about it’.

And if your baby seems to hate being on his tummy, I understand it can be easier to take this advice and hope for the best rather than push through and find solutions.

Exploring this thought….

Back in the day, when our parents and grandparents had babies (us), I think we’d all agree that in may ways, things were very different.

For a start, through necessity, they were much more hands on with their kids.

There was nowhere near the range of baby equipment available that there is today so babies were held and carried around in different positions much more. They still had to get on and do things so they found ways to get on and do them even with a baby wanting to be held and given attention all the time!

TV was also nowhere near as kiddy -orientated so that wasn’t the easy distraction option like it is now (I can’t imagine not having the convenience of TV as a distraction!).

Here’s a fab post by Cando Kiddo on Old School Tummy Time with some great suggestions.

So, what can you do?

Many of the concerns related to too little tummy time can be avoided altogether if your baby was born “on time”, is healthy and has no medical complications.

  • Providing appropriate stimulation and activities, including tummy time will help your baby learn, grow and develop the skills he or she needs
  • Have fun together and bond with each other!
  • Don’t be put off if your baby was born early or has some medical difficulties: you can still improve your baby’s tummy time experience. Just check with, and follow, the advice you have been given from your child’s doctor, physiotherapist or occupational therapist first.
  • If you have any concerns about your child’s development or have noticed a flat spotdeveloping on your baby’s head, seek advice from a health professional as soon as possible: they are there to help you both.

What are you thoughts on tummy time?

How do you feel about the fact that health professionals go on about it so much?

I’d love to answer any questions you have so ask away and I’ll get onto answering them asap!