Wednesday, July 17, 2013

trick: try side sitting.

Some babies just don't like tummy time no matter how you try to entice them. With special toys, laying on your chest, with snazzy books, on a play mat. You can make it seem like the most fun activity in the whole wide world and still they fuss and whine and cry it out any time you put them on their stomach.

The goal of tummy time is to work the chest and arm muscles in preparation of crawling and it may seem like the only way, but it's not. Helping your baby side sit is another great way to build the muscles of the upper body and help them get ready to crawl. Plus it helps them learn to eventually transition from sitting to crawling on their own later down the road.

Seat baby in front of you facing you.

Turn baby's right leg so their knee is down in the center and their foot is pointing out to their right, just like the left one. Position baby's body towards their left and place their hands out in front of them to the side.

The further away from their body the hands (and the closer their face to the floor), the more strength needed to keep them stable. Start with them close to their body and progressively move them further away to build strength. 

This is usually more tolerated than tummy time and it is easier to distract baby in this position by reading stories or playing with toys. It is also easier to do small little sessions of side sitting without causing a total upset - if baby starts getting fussy, simply move them back to sitting. It is less of a total transition from being on their tummies.

Make sure to switch sides to build strength equally in both arms.

Happy sitting!

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