1

I heard placing a baby on his stomach makes his neck muscles stronger. But my 2 month oldie doesn't like to be on his tummy. He tries to cry and seems uncomfortable. Is there anything to be concerned about as a parent?

2
  • How long does it take until your newborn is crying? Tummy time sessions should only last for a few minutes at this age - and it's perfectly normal for them to get fussy after about 5 minutes. If, however, they start crying right away then there might be more of a problem.
    – Zibbobz
    Oct 19 at 20:10
  • you can try it with a pillow under the chest for a more comfy position
    – jeff
    Oct 20 at 9:54
7

Tummy time is important, because it’s the natural way to strengthen not just the neck muscles, but the whole set of core muscles, including back and to a degree stomach. This means it’s an important factor to turn over, then learn to crawl and at some point start walking.

Nevertheless, a lot of babies dislike being put face down on the ground or a blanket, especially when they can’t control their head movements yet. And they will voice their disagreement more or less vehemently. That said it’s quite a long way from being just a few weeks old until they can comfortably lie on their tummy and play with a toy.

Luckily, there are ways to do tummy time that are good intermediate steps until baby is better at holding herself up: Consider basically all positions where baby is (safely) placed tummy side down, but without dunking her face on the ground: On you arm, on your lap when you are sitting somewhere, high up on your shoulder, especially with your back towards a mirror). For the beginning, just a few minutes will be enough, you don’t want to overdo it. Muscles build gradually and as all athletes know, it’s not about doing a lot at once, but about being persistent and training regularly. And once your baby has gained a bit more strength and better control of his or her head, there will be way less fuss when you place her or him on the play mat on the floor or similar.

3

You are correct, some "tummy time" (as we call it in the UK), properly monitored during the day is good for them to learn to strengthen their neck muscles. Don't worry if they don't take to it straight away, as all babies are different. Maybe your baby just doesn't like being put down - how do they react if you place them on their back? Also, how are they doing with their neck when you hold them? If you have a serious concern, do raise it with a clinician, but I can't think of anything serious that would cause them to cry only in that position other than they haven't got the hang of raising their head yet.

This article is quite helpful, it suggests giving them a toy when they are on their front as something to grab their interest and to reach for. It also has 3 other suggestions for helping them to strengthen their neck muscles. The same article mentions that 2 months is only the start of being able to raise their head just a little, so don't worry.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.