Does your baby like tummy time? Most don’t, for good reason. Until infants are able to roll into the tummy position on their own, most of them find it uncomfortable, immobilizing, and no doubt highly discouraging.
But rather than listen to our babies, we are asked to put our faith in recent studies about plagiocephaly (flat-headedness), studies that don’t take into account the fact that infants are now spending more time than ever in restrictive devices (like car seats, bouncy seats and carriers) that inhibit babies from doing what they are naturally inclined to do: round out the back of their heads by turning them from side to side.
Instead, the back position and rousingly successful “Back to Sleep” campaign (which has cut the SIDS rate in the US in half since it began in 1992) have been named as the culprits. So, rather than understand these studies as a reflection of the need for more free movement and floor time during the baby’s waking hours, many experts have concluded that imposing tummy time is the answer.
In this insightful guest post, Irene Lyon, a Feldenkrais and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (and producer/director of the world renowned “Baby Liv” video), sheds light on the valuable developmental processes hindered when tummy time is imposed early, and helps us see tummy time from our baby’s point of view.