E will be three months old in two days. She’s been a little early hitting a lot of her milestones—smiling at three weeks, laughing at six weeks—but when it comes to head control, E is still quite wobbly. She gets a good view of the floor while she’s sitting up, if you catch my drift.
E’s head is in the 81st percentile for size, so I’ve always assumed this has a lot to do with it. (It’s that big brain, I keep saying.) But when a friend posted a video of her baby on YouTube last night, my jaw dropped. Her son is ten days older than E, but in the video he was on his tummy with his head held high, steady as can be, and he was looking around the room like it was no big thing.
E can’t do that. Yet.
In fact, when you lay E on her tummy, most of the time she just eats blanket. I squeal out of joy any time she lifts her head so much as half an inch off the blanket. It’s not that she can’t do it, but she doesn’t like to—she’d rather lie there and suck on her hand. After all, sucking on your hand is so much easier than working out (so to speak).
We’ve tried everything. I lie on the floor with her. I entice her with toys. I’ve tried lying her on my chest, on the Boppy pillow, on my bed, on my legs. This girl just hates tummy time. And while I know I can’t compare her to another baby because babies are all different, I feel like I’m not doing enough to encourage E to work on her neck strength.
So I did some internet scouring and found some things I haven’t tried. Maybe shaking things up a bit will make E more inclined to participate in tummy time.
- Lying E on her tummy on an exercise ball. I’ve had one sitting in my bedroom, unused, for almost a year. Time to put it to use.
- Lying E on her tummy on an inclined couch cushion. The picture on the website where I found this shows a baby inclined and looking up at the television. This is a great idea because E is already a little TV fiend (dohh!).
- Lying on my back and pulling my knees up to my chin, and lying E on her tummy on my shins. This way our heads are practically touching.
- Lying E on her side and playing with her. Apparently there’s so much emphasis on tummy activities that parents fail to realize babies can work on neck strength on their sides, too.
- After each diaper change, slowly lifting E with my fingers supporting her under the shoulders.
- Sitting E in the Bumbo seat more often. We have one, but she’s so wobbly I fear she’s uncomfortable in it. I have to remember, it’s building her strength!
With my going back to work next week, our tummy time will be a little more limited. I’m hoping they will give her plenty of tummy time at day care—in fact, I’ll make sure they know E needs it!
Do you have any tips and tricks for working on a baby’s neck strength and head control?