Be On Baby’s Level (Why Tummy Time is for Grown-ups Too)

You know Tummy Time, or “floor time,” for babies? It’s really for grown-ups too!

I invite you to come down to Baby’s world and experience what she is doing. Get face to face on her level. What’s she currently doing? Tummy Time; or Side Time or Back Time? Yay! Enjoy lying down with her (give yourself permission if you need it). Belly

Hands-and-knees crawling? Explore together this angle on the world.

crawling? Give it a try and you’ll discover why this stage can be so challenging!

But of course you’ll be holding her some too when you’re standing. Sometimes, when you are already upright, try—if you don’t already—holding Baby up high enough so that she's face to face with you.

Truly, one of the best things we grown-ups can do for our babies is to bring ourselves down to their level. As a society, we tend to lovingly try to bring them up to ours—to prop them up in sitting or standing so they can be up higher and look around, for “up higher” is where all Baby’s loved ones are! They want to see what’s going on and be a part of it—right?

Yes and no. That desire to get up higher is part of Baby’s motivation to learn how, from his tummy or back on the floor, to incrementally raise his head, push up on his hands, roll and belly crawl to move in space, independently sit, come up to hands and knees, then pulling up and walking.

However, if he’s not doing it by himself already, then he’s gaining a lot of valuable experience by continuing to do whatever he’s already doing if he’s developing in a typical manner.

Coming down to Baby’s level gives us an inside glimpse of what it takes to learn“from scratch” how to move. We appreciate the mindstate of what Baby is doing. We  become a mirror to Baby’s process, and in doing so communicate that we see her and accept where she is—this lays a very important foundation forschool-learning later in life! We build relationship around “being” together, not just “doing” together. Find out if it’s relaxing; or if it’s hard work?; and enjoy this precious time with your Baby.

© Elizabeth Parker 2011, All Rights Reserved (Links are welcome. If you’d like to share my post in your blog or materials, please ask permission.)


3 responses to “Be On Baby’s Level (Why Tummy Time is for Grown-ups Too)

  1. Eliza tells it like it is once again!

  2. I am so grateful for the information that you share on your blog – thank you for making it available to the public! Can you comment on whether there is such a thing as too much tummy time? My 5 mo. daughter spends a great deal of supervised time in this position, and recently I spotted a “guideline” that suggests that the length tummy time should be limited, with different recommendations for different age groups, i.e., 2-5 minutes twice per day for infants who can raise their heads independently, increasing with age and ability.

    • Thanks; you’re welcome! Generally, no there’s no such thing as too much tummy time. However, I would specify 2 things as even more important: that she lie on ALL FOUR sides (tummy, back, and both sides) and that she’s rolled into and out of tummy time rather than put straight down onto her tummy. If/when she can roll from front to back by herself, she’ll have choice. I”m not familiar with the guideline you mention, but sometimes when I see a guideline on amount of time, it’s geared toward babies who have discomfort in tummy time, but your baby seems comfortable. On the tummy is where many reflexes kick in that lead to movement; and where recuperation can happen.

      More info here on the above:

      Lastly, my perspective is that “often” and “make it part of your daily routine in many ways and times throughout the day” are more important than counting minutes. Thanks for following!

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