Our youngest daughter Leah is 4 months old. We’re beginning to place her on her stomach more frequently so she can begin to build strength in her neck and upper back. This natural progression is part of the process prior to crawling. Leah doesn’t like “tummy time” at all. She typically will tolerate it for about 5 minutes before she starts to get tired and worn out. One of the ways I try to distract her is by placing toys in front of her that provide an incentive and distraction to the fact that she doesn’t like it.
Even though she begins to fuss and whine to let me know that she doesn’t like it, I typically let her struggle for another minute or two before I pick her up. I sincerely believe the struggle is such a crucial part of the process that I make her work a little longer. I think the longer she can struggle now, the quicker she’ll build strength and progress to the next stage. Often times, I think people are confused and misunderstand discomfort, struggle, or pain. Those three items are not always inherently bad. All of them have their necessary place in the growth process and actually tend to result in greater upside for those willing to endure discomfort. If I picked up Leah EVERY single time that she began to fuss, she wouldn’t figure anything out on her own and she wouldn’t build strength necessary to progress to the next stage of development.
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