A common topic amongst parents of babies is discussing how much tummy time your tyke gets, and while the term ‘tummy time’ sounds incredibly enjoyable, most babies tend to disagree. In the early stages, many will just rub their faces into the mattress (or floor if your house is actually clean, which is most likely not the case with people that have recently procreated).
The main reason behind tummy time is that since people are scared shitless of SIDS, they make their babies sleep on their backs. If precautions aren’t taken, or if the baby spends too much time on their back, they can start to get a flat head (we have first hand experience with this).
Tummy time is also important because it helps them develop their neck, head and shoulder muscles (known only as muskels to Popeye) and can help with certain motor skills. It also helps them learn to roll over and eventually leads to crawling. Which eventually leads to you never getting an ounce of rest again and a house covered in cushions, assorted baby paraphernalia and broken dreams.
Luckily, there are many variations of tummy time to help mix things up and to keep your little one from losing his or her shit. Hint: they tend to get a tad cranky when you put them on their tummy for the 10th time in order to reach your tummy time quota for the day.
With little concept of time, you’d think they’d be more patient.
Since Popeye has a tendency to soil his drawers pretty much hourly during the day, we have been putting him on his tummy in his crib while we feed the yummies to the beast that is the diaper pail. Question to cloth diaper users: do babies always find a way to get the poop directly on the insert access, so that you have no choice but to dig right in to remove the insert?
Depending on the severity of the situation and the amount of finger tip poopies that must be removed, each diaper change can deposit a few minutes to the tummy time account. That means eight to ten diapers during the day can net you a considerable amount of time.
Mix that in with some tummy play time and activities like the tummy-down airplane, the tummy to tummy and the tummy-down carry, and it’s very conceivable that you can get 30 to 60 minutes per day pretty easily.
We’ve been working with the little man consistently over the last few weeks and are really beginning to see a difference. What began as a mild form of baby torture has become an impressive display of brute baby strength and willpower that would make the real Popeye proud (because Popeye is totes real you guys).
If you are in a similar situation, then check out this video from pathways.org that shows you how to do five essential tummy time moves: