Today I really want to discuss ‘tummy time’ with all my mommy friends out there! For those who don’t know, this is when you place your baby tummy down for a few minutes each day. The action of lying belly down will encourage the baby to lift their head and begin working their neck muscles toward good head control. Sometimes babies are born with ‘torticollis’, a condition in which the baby turns the head toward a preferred side only. If left untreated, the baby may experience symptoms of poor head control and plagiocephaly (misshaped skull).
My best friend (physical therapist) and I (speech therapist) treat babies every day that were born with torticollis, so I know how to recognize it. When Callie was born, it didn’t take me long to notice her preferring her right side more. Thankfully, I recognized it soon and know how to treat it; however, despite my best efforts Callie’s head has already began to form slightly flatter on one side. As a mommy, we believe our babies are amazing, but when something isn’t quite perfect…it drives us crazy! That’s why I have set a goal to really work hard with Callie over the next few months to correct this concern.
Here are some great tips that I’ve learned can potentially help (keep in mind I am not a physical therapist/pediatrician and can not legally recommend treatment for your children):
- hold baby in the arm that forces them to look toward you using the direction they have less experience with
- when holding baby over should to burn/sleep, turn their neck toward their weak side
- when changing baby, lay them in the direction that forces them to use their weak side when facing you
- roll a burp cloth and stick it under the neck pads in their car seats/swings/rock-n-plays/etc. (only if you’re able to monitor)
- use sound makers and colorful toys to encourage head movement toward the weaker side
- gently stretch baby’s neck toward the weak side for a few minutes each day
- TUMMY TIMECallie is wearing: flower headband (Carter’s), open-back top and floral bloomers (Old Navy), mocs (Freshly Picked), diaper bag (Fawn Design)
As always, comment below with any stories & tips of your own and don’t forget to follow my other social media platforms for all things Live Laugh Lanier!