Tummy Time on Day 1!
So, my simple answer is yes and no. Not so simple huh!
The yes is because tummy time is so important. You want to work with your child to increase their tolerance to it. We have a few posts with tips and tricks, we also have an e-book that gives you lots of ideas for playing with your little one from ages 0-3 months. And, we have a wellness program that over 6 weeks helps your little one to become a tummy time champ!
The no is because you can help them tolerate it more – see all the resources above! And, we have a whole list on our Amazon shop for toys that can help with tummy time!
To dig in further I might ask what your little one is doing that they hate it. Is it because of reflux? We have a post that talks about this.
Do they just cry quickly when you place them down? That can be helped by checking out the tips and tricks we mention in the posts above. It’s starting early, easy, and for short, frequent bursts. How fun is it to have your little one lying on your chest? This is tummy time! If you think about all the things that are easy, it can make it less overwhelming! And, sometimes the frustration is necessary. They are working hard, just like when we go to the gym or go for that run. So letting them grunt and make noises for short periods is ok. They are working out!
Does your child have a flat spot on their head or have a preference for looking to one side? If so then you definitely want to fit tummy time in. You can even try different ways of carrying your little one so they are off the back of their head and able to look in multiple directions. You don’t want their torticollis or plagiocephaly to get worse! The sooner you address it the better!
If they just arch their back immediately, look for ways to make it easier (again, refer to some of the tips and tricks posts above). You can also introduce sidelying as a way to ease in to tummy time. It’s also another way to help your little one get off their back. What we often forget is that in addition to sleeping on their back, every time they are in the stroller, car seat, swing, bouncy chair, etc they are on their back. So sidelying is another alternative!
So, basically don’t give up! Tummy time is so important for the later skills your child will develop, and they are never to old to get started, but the sooner you start the easier it is! Just pretend that you are their personal trainer helping them build the muscles they need to hit all those other major milestones!
Here are some videos to show you some tummy time over the various weeks and with various assists.