Tummy Time

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5 month old hates tummy time - rolls over

July 2002

Hi! I have a 5 1/2 month old who HATES tummy time. He screams his little head off like I'm torturing him somehow. Recently he's halfway perfected his rolling over abilities, which allows him to go from back to belly, and he does it EVERY time I put him down on his back. But once he gets to his tummy he can't figure out how to get back so he'll lie there screaming and screaming and screaming..... At first I would go and get him and flip him over, but he needs to learn how to do this for himself, no? But he doesn't seem to realize that going back the other way is an option so he just lies there and yells. I've tried to distract him with toys, I've tried giving him a little start roll and letting him finish (he doesn't) and I've tried just leaving him there. Eventually I just can't take the horrible wailing anymore so I go and get him. Does anybody have any suggestions or advice? Thank you! Jill

Our daughter didn't like tummy time either until we propped her up on the Boppy. That way she could see & play with toys in front of her. From then on, it was fun. Just make sure to stay with him so he doesn't just put his face into the Boppy when he gets tired - tummy time was great for tiring her out! KBracken
I remember those frustrating times with my own daughter. Thankfully within a month she learned to roll back, which I'm sure your son will pick up as well. I remember trying to teach my baby how to move/fling her body so she could get off her stomach, but she didn't want Mama's help. I think this is just part of the process that babies have to go through to learn a new skill (crawling, walking, talking). It sounds like you're doing all the right things (letting him try on his own, and picking him up when you can't take it anymore). Lucy's Mom
Both of my daughters hated being on their tummies and would scream their heads off when placed on their tummies (per the suggestion of their pediatrician, who thought that they needed tummy time since they were so seldom on their tummies by choice). I'm not sure what to tell you about what to do when your baby is on his tummy, other than help him figure out how to roll back over again. I just thought it was pure torture to ''force'' them to be on their tummies. Neither of my girls crawled and both walked early, at 10 months. Neither seems to have ''suffered'' for lack of tummy time, although I was warned about many dire consequences due to their lack of tummy time/crawling (including, by several teachers, of not being able to read well because of their inability to crawl??). Well, given that the older one started reading at 4, I wasn't very worried. In any case, I didn't force them to be on their tummies and they are both fine. Good luck. -- mom of girls who hated tummy time