Today, most babies are much more comfy on their back, where they spend their sleeping hours (not to mention time spent in car seats, swings, and bouncy seats).
So if your baby seems miserable on his belly, it’s no wonder. Not only is it unfamiliar, it’s physically uncomfortable. It’s hard work for your baby to keep his head up when he’s on his tummy, and he can’t see much of anything down there. He may even feel abandoned.
When should we do tummy time?
Make sure your baby isn’t hungry or tired when you set him tummy-down. On the other hand, don’t place him on a full belly, which might be uncomfortable. (Wait about an hour after feeding to avoid spit-ups or infant acid reflux.)
When he starts to cry – even if it’s only been a minute – try to coax him a bit longer by talking with him or playing with him. When he’s had enough, pick him up and try again later.
His tolerance for tummy time is likely to increase gradually with experience and a bit of coaxing. And many babies are more content on their tummy once they can roll over and it becomes a matter of choice.
Some parents find it helpful to roll their babies over on their tummy for a little while after every diaper change. It’s easy to remember to do it, and your baby may come to expect it. Your baby may also enjoy the view, if he’s up on a changing table. Just be sure to hold on to him so he doesn’t roll off.