Your baby spends the better part of the day lying on the back. This is right because it helps to reduce the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, babies who are always lying on their backs may face other problems such as developing flat spots on the skull, or experiencing delay in the development of their motor abilities.
The only way to avoid this is to encourage your baby to spend at least some time on the belly.
- Once the baby is over two months old, start laying the baby on the stomach.
- Be prepared to face the initial resistance. Your baby will paddle furiously, swing arms and legs about, and try to roll over or sit up.
- Use soothing tone and gestures and encourage your baby to maintain the position for 3–5 minutes.
- Gradually increase the time so that your baby spends at least ten minutes at a time on the stomach.
- Do this a few times every day.
You can help to make this exercise enjoyable for the baby by:
- Lying down on your back with your knees held up and balancing your baby on your shins. You can hold your baby’s arms and gently rock.
- Placing a rolled cloth or pillow under the baby’s chest.
- Dangling a toy in front of your baby.
- Lying down face-to-face and talking or singing to your baby.