Tummy time tips for babies who don't like being on their stomach

I read all the parenting books, giggled at the sweet babies on Instagram nailing some tummy time with big smiles but yet, everytime I put my little one down they completely objected! All the research I did made it seem like it was something you just HAD to endure and that bub would eventually get used to it. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! 

We’ve compiled our top tips to help with Tummy Time below. But first? Let’s review with a refresher!


Baby practising tummy time

What is tummy time?

Tummy time is where you place your baby stomach down to help develop the muscles needed to to lift their heads using their arms. You should start training your baby on tummy time as soon as they are born and always when the baby is awake and under your careful supervision. We recommend giving it a go in tiny doses on one of our super protective Luxe Play Mats as it creates a generous and soft area for you and your baby to lay on the floor together. It is such an important part of development as it assists with their gross motor skills that eventually lead to crawling. 


Why Is Tummy Time Important?

Not only is tummy time important for building your baby's neck and upper body strength, it is also beneficial for:

  • Helping prevent flat spots that form on your baby's head due to lying on one spot,
  • Allowing your baby to work different muscles of the body and
  • Setting the perfect stage for promoting gross motor skill development for your little one. 



Should I let my little one cry during tummy time? 

No! Our secret to getting bub to enjoy tummy time is variety and small doses! All bubs have a slightly different reaction to being placed face down on the floor but if your little one is crying - scoop them up, give them a cuddle and try again later. The new environment and position can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a few of our top tips for helping your newborn with tummy time. 


Babies doing tummy time on a munchkin and bear play mat


How Can I Get My Baby To Like Tummy Time?

Firstly, don’t worry if your baby isn’t enjoying it straight away - that’s super normal. Most development specialists recommend doing tummy time 2-3 times a day for around 3-5 minutes each time however, the most important criteria is that your baby is content and enjoying it. If bub is struggling at first, don’t set a time limit, just pop them down for really short bursts to help them get used to being in that position. 


There are also a few ways to make it more engaging so here are our top tips to make tummy time a fun activity: 

  • Tempt your baby by enticing them with their favourite toys. You could even place them in a circle around your little one and let them reach out for them.
  • Get down on the floor with bub so you are at their eye-level. If they see you doing the same activity, they are more likely to stay calm and enjoy it. 
  • Start by keeping the sessions short and gradually increase the time by a few more seconds each day.
  • Pop a mirror down in front of your baby on the floor and let them smile and giggle at their own facial expressions. 
  • Try using alternate tummy time positions that will help strengthen the same muscles, like baby wearing.
  • Help prop your baby up by placing a nursing pillow or rolled up towel under their chest and arms.
  • Make it comfortable by placing bub on a soft, squishy Luxe Play Mat. This will ensure their little bodies feel safe and protected. Plus, once they learn to roll from their tummy to their back, the Play Mat will make sure they don’t roll off onto the hard flooring. 
  • Massage your baby's feet during tummy time to help distract them from the activity.


Mum and baby laying on a padded foam play mat

Alternatives To Tummy Time

Even if your baby is really objecting to tummy time, here are a few great alternatives:

  • Laptime: Position the baby's stomach down across your lap.
  • Tummy to tummy: Get down on a Play Mat and lay on your back. Then place bub on top of your stomach. This allows you both to bond, while continuing to strengthen your baby’s muscles. 
  • Side by side: Side lay your baby to help support them at the back. This should make them more comfortable in new positions and help gain the confidence to give tummy time another go.

If you're on the hunt for even more fun ways to engage your newborn, check out our list of ideas here!

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before displaying