For anybody that has watched infants, the term Tummy Time strikes terror. Tummy Time is essential from day one to help the baby grow strong. Babies hate it and because they are so unhappy about it, so do grandmothers.
When my kids were little, we put babies to sleep on their stomachs and they were used to being in that position. Today, putting babies to sleep on their stomachs is a definite no-no. It is much healthier for newborns to sleep on their backs but as a result, they are miserable when you put them on their belly. Not only is it unfamiliar, it is physically uncomfortable. Experts find that babies who don’t spend time face down often have some delays in their development of motor skills so even though the baby is unhappy, it is really important.
So, when I watched my grandson, I had to make sure I spent time each day putting him on his stomach. At first, I don’t know who was more upset- me or him. I could tell it was hard work to keep his head up when he was on his tummy and he was not a happy camper.
I learned not to attempt tummy time when the baby was hungry or tired. I also learned it was a good idea to wait about an hour after feeding him unless I wanted most of what he had eaten to come up again on me or the mat.
Here are some tricks I learned to make tummy time easier on both of us.
Keep the baby company
Joining the baby on the floor was a good way to distract him. I made funny faces, played peekaboo, shook a rattle. I even did some leg lifts. I figured if he was working hard, I might as well join him.
Another option was putting the baby on my tummy. He had a much softer landing pad than the floor and being so close to my face seemed to help.
I also tried putting him on the bed and sitting on the floor with my face right next to his.
Balancing the baby on an exercise ball and gently rocking him back and forth seemed to work. When I propped him on a nursing pillow or rolled towel he also seemed to be more comfortable.
Try to find out what works for your grandchild. One of my grandmom friends said that her grandchild was fine on his belly- as long as he had no clothes on!