Tummy time is important for all infants as it contributes to their motor development and reduces the risk of infants developing flat spots on their head from laying on their back, in the same spot. However, for a baby who is very sick, tummy time can cause fluids to come up. For this reason, the best time to offer tummy time is before a feed.
Tummy time should be started soon after birth; schedule as many tummy time sessions as possible each day, before feeds and while your infant is awake and alert. While some infants with reflux, including silent reflux, only tolerate tummy time for short periods initially, the key is perseverance. Most infants tolerate being on their tummies for longer as they grow older and stronger. The following suggestions may help; however, discuss any concerns you have with your doctor or child health nurse.
- Try to make tummy time fun and stimulating, with lots of toys to amuse your infant. Lie beside or in front of them and sing or talk as a distraction.
- Try tummy time on your bed instead of the floor. As always, fully supervise, and never leave your infant unattended on the bed.
- If your infant objects to being laid flat on their tummy, try using a reflux wedge, although never leave your infant unattended during play on the wedge.
- Tummy time can be fun if you try different positions e.g. put your infant on their tummy for massage, or support them on an exercise ball or in the bath. Alternatively, you could sit on a chair with your infant lying on your lap.
Source © Written by Glenda Blanch, RISA Inc