Most mums and dads will know that it’s really important to give your little one plenty of ‘tummy time’ – time where they are placed on their tums to help develop their neck and stomach muscles.
I started out with good intentions, placing The Boy on his tummy at various points throughout the day. What followed was nothing short of a meltdown where he refused to lift his head, and just cried sadly into his mat or blanket.
Not to be deterred we tried placing him on a cushion, a ramp, on top of a rolled up blanket (placed under his arms) and on the bed. All to no avail.
We know he can lift his head, he has been able to lift it since 2.5 weeks, but he loathes tummy time.
I was beginning to despair. I do lots with him, we are out at various groups everyday and so I got talking to some other mums, and found I wasn’t alone – seems lots of babies hate tummy time.
But, as a parent, it is my duty to do what it best for my son, he doesn’t know what is best, I have to make those decisions for him. So, tummy time needs to continue. Without time on his tum he won’t develop important muscle groups and won’t do things like roll over and crawl as quickly as he perhaps could do.
So, one evening I was reading through my Twitter feed and saw a competition to win a ‘Tummy with Mummy’ pod. I entered and began reading more about the product. The website explains really clearly about the importance of time on tummies for babies, but I have to admit that because The Boy was getting so distressed I was beginning to ‘run out of time’ to do tummy time.
Tummy with Mummy had a January offer on where the pod was £15 off. As I knew I had no chance of winning the competition (I never win anything!) I purchased one. I’ll be honest, they’re not cheap. I paid £45 (includes postage) and the full price is £59.99 but I figured that we have been fortunate in not having to buy very much for The Boy, we were given a pram etc and our biggest outlay has been his reusable nappies. I only pay for one of the activities we do, the rest are provided free by the local Sure Start Centre or because of his age, so I thought that, in the scheme of things, £45 wasn’t too much. I will admit though I was a bit concerned that I’d bought into a bit of a gimick – we all know how many great looking items there are in the baby market that actually, we don’t need are just aren’t that useful.
So, the pod arrived on Friday. It is genuinely very easy to set up, it folds out and zips up and you’re away. I worried that it was going to be one of those things that is so cumbersome it’s never used, but it’s honestly not. I set it up after his morning feed, and pack it up once he is in bed. Simple, it takes about three mins.
I placed The Boy on the pod and, yes, he actually lifted his head for a good while! I couldn’t believe it. As I mentioned, I am a bit cynical and thought it might all be a big con,, but no it works!
Less than a week on I can honestly say that its been worth every penny. Tummy time is no longer stressful for him (or me!) and what’s more he is noticeably gaining more strength and able to lift his head and chest higher and for longer. I can’t believe it.
I think the pod works because of the curve – it makes it easier and more comfortable for him, and because he is more at my level he is happier there. Gone are the days of us both lying on the floor. I can sit in front of him and he can look up at me much more easily.
The big test will be as we transition back to the floor, I don’t think the pod is suitable for him to be rolling on, so he needs to learn that skill on the floor. I’ll blog again in a few weeks about that but in the meantime tummy time is becoming enjoyable for us both and he is already coming on leaps and bounds.