Oh tummy time! I am not here today to write about the benefits of tummy time, or put my two sense into the debate. I know doctors and therapists will say some things and moms will say others. Today is just our story with tummy time, and the progress Abigail has made in her two and a half years of life. I personally have a love/hate relationship with tummy time. It was a lot more hate in the beginning, but that was because Abigail hated it. But today she rocks tummy time like a champ. Actually, I don’t know if you can consider it tummy time anymore for her. It is more like her way of life now. So funny how time changes things!
Abigail has never been a cuddly baby. Even as a newborn we would put her on her little play mat on her back and leave her in the living room while we went to fix lunch or dinner for ourselves. She was just content to lie there and stare at her toys, so that’s what we did. But around a month old she flipped over from her back to her stomach on her own. She only did it a handful of times for that week, but we were so excited for her! Thankfully we have a video of it because no one would believe that knowing Abigail’s journey now. But she did not start rolling and flipping over again until she was about 9 months old and even then it was sporadic at best. This past summer is when the rolling and flipping became a permanent part of our lives (Abigail had just turned two in May), and bedtime became a thing of the past.
We began therapy with Abigail at five months. Of course, her therapists loved and encouraged tummy time. But at this point of Abigail’s life she had zero head control, so tummy time was a struggle. Abigail’s head would just bob uncontrollably until she just could not take it anymore and start crying. Tummy time might have lasted 2 minutes at a time. It was a rough time for poor Abigail. She hated it! She would much rather prefer being on her back or sitting on the couch. We tried everything from boppy pillows, tummy time pillows, toys to try to encourage her on her tummy, but she just was not having it. At this point Abigail was not interested in any toys or her environment really. She has always loved people, so we could make her laugh and giggle and that’s about all she liked to play with was other people.
Finally, around a year old she had pretty stable head control so tummy time became a little better, but it still was not great. But she could more easily play with toys and tummy time became a little better. It was not until she learned she could have some mobility this past year thought that tummy time became Abigail’s favorite position! It all started with learning she could push on her scooter board.
Then she learned to push herself backwards, and it was only a matter of time that the army crawl was founded. Today, she practically lives on her tummy. After she eats breakfast until the time she goes to bed, she is on her tummy all day playing, moving, and exploring. It is the best way for her to play for now since she cannot sit up, and the only way she can get around. She loves being on her tummy. You would have no idea that two years ago tummy time was a taboo word in our house – that this little girl you see could not even keep her big ole’ noggin off the ground for more than two minutes.
I know that crawling around on the ground is not the end goal. I know that constantly being on her tummy is not good for Abigail’s digestive system. I know that it would be so much better if Abigail could sit and play. But to see her progress these last two years is amazing. If you had told me that Abigail would one day love being on her tummy I would have laughed at you two years ago. Yes, we have a long ways to go, and we will keep pushing Abigail. We struggled with tummy time for so long, but the therapists kept saying it would help her strengthen her neck and core, and would you know that it took months and months of tears and struggles but her neck and core are so much stronger now. Hard work is hard, but goodness that little girl is a fighter and I am so proud of her. I am proud of her struggles and her triumphs. I am proud that she does not give up. I am proud of her stubbornness and determination. I know we have a lot more to achieve, but it is nice to be able to say that Abigail now rocks tummy time! If she can conquer this than what else is she capable of???