Tummy time without tears

Most infants will happily lie on their tummies and quickly learn to push on their arms, lift up their heads and view the world from a different vantage point.

From a very young age they learn to push themselves back onto their backs. 

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Many infants on the other hand hate being on their tummies on a horizontal surface and may need quite a bit of encouragement to get them happy in this position. 

At 10 months Toesies tolerated being on his tummy but does not try to push up on his arms. You can see that his back and neck muscles have to work hard to keep his head up. 

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Other ways to get the experience of lying face down 

If an infant hates being flat on the tummy, cries after a few moments and quickly learns to rollback onto the back there is nothing much you can do about it. 

There are many ways other than flat an a firm surface that you can give your infant the experience of lying face down, lifting the head and taking some weight on the arms. 

Lying on mummy or daddy's chest

Young infants are usually very happy to be held against a carer's chest. In fact will often be carried and soothed in this position. 

Take time to have a chat to your infant when you hold him or her on your chest to encourage head lifting and a little bit of pushing on the arms.

Infants love to lie on mummy or daddy's chest. Start by reclining a little so that your chest is at an angle. With time and experience your infant will not mind you lying flat on your back.

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A rolled up fleece blanket provides good support 

You can try providing the infant with a little support  under the chest when you do put him face down on a firm surface.

A rolled up fleece blanket or a towel works well for this. The roll  lifts the chest a little way up off the surface and makes it easier for the infant to lift the head.  You can also tuck the roll in close to the infants body for extra support and to make it more difficult to roll back onto the back. 

It is difficult for an infant to see much from this position so you will have to get down and provide some entertainment to keep him happy in this position. 

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Lying on a pillow

Lying across a pillow provides extra sideways support and lifts the head and shoulder up a little making it easier to get the arms forwards. 

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Some infants like to lie on a sloping surface

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Supporting the chest on a firm cushion

Older infant who hate being on their tummies will often be quite happy to lie with their chest supported on a form 10 cm high cushion. I use a 10 cm high foam block for this. 

In this position the hips are flexed and the infant usually finds it easier to push upon the arms.  have a selection od toys at hand to keep your infant entertained.  

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