Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tummy Time!

Throughout the history of childrearing babies have been laid down to sleep in various ways, including on their stomachs.  A few years back, studies showed that stomach sleeping could be a contributing factor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, an event that is too awful for me to imagine.  It was then recommended that babies only sleep on their backs for as long as you could control the situation. (I quickly researched how long, but could not find a conclusive answer so I am guessing it is recommended for the first year or until the baby starts rolling around in his sleep like a kid does.  I believe the risk for SIDS is the highest in the first few months...)

As a result of this recommendation, SIDS has declined by alot (I think I remember reading 40% somewhere, but I don't want to look it up right now).  There has been a side effect, however.  Spending most of their time on their back delays the development of certain muscles in the neck and back.  This lack of strength can delay crawling and other milestones. 

To mitigate these delays babies are supposed to spend supervised time on their stomach for a period of time each day from an early age so they can build strength and get used to that position.  The correct term, I believe, is "Tummy Time"! 

I admit that I have not been very fastiduous about tummy time...when Ben was about two weeks old I tried it and he immediately spit up!  We hold him alot while reclining so he can work on lifting his head up that way and he usually ends up doing pushups and kicking until it is like he is climbing your torso or something so I wasn't too worried about his strength.  Yesterday he seemed bored so I laid out a blanket and set him on the floor.  It was awkward looking and didn't look very fun to me but I guess he has to start somewhere!

Hold it...

Hold it...

OVER IT!  He says "Get me back on my back!"

Ahh...much better!

Of course his bro Allan was observing the whole think and thinking, "What is the big deal about holding your head up?!"


Barb said...


It is hard to hold your head couldn't see for the first week or two, give Ben a break!!!!

Maren said...

Allan is just impatient because he wants Ben to be able to play with him!