Infants who “hate tummy time” most likely do not move much on their own and have not figured out how to roll.
Many infants who don’t move at 4 months and up can be helped with minimal input to learn to roll.
This learning then leads to all kinds of random movement exploration.
Random movements give the brain information to form the self image and a sense of self and other. This is the neurological foundation for all learning.
Infancy is a crucial period for teaching parents how to support their child’s development.
Give the infant several hours of floor time each day where they can safely and easily roll.
Place a few toys like balls or rattles nearby.
Hang a mobile in the area where they lie on the floor (on the back) just out of reach 1-2 feet away.
If they lie and don’t move you can assist them.
With 3 month old baby (or more) lying on their back, tell the baby what you are doing as you:
Greet them by name, make eye contact smiling from 1 to 2 feet away.
See if they follow your wiggling fingers (or a small rattle)from left to right.
See if they reach for a small rattle with either hand.
Rub their chest and belly gently in circles with your flat hand.
Gently squeeze each arm and hand and notice if they feel limp or tight.
Massage each hand.
Gently squeeze each leg and massage each foot.
Do the knees move easily toward the chest?
Is the baby interested in his/her feet?
Does the right hand reach to left foot, the left hand to the right foot?
With both knees bent, gently rock the pelvis left and right.
Tap the rattle about one foot from their head on the floor to their right.
Take their knees a little to their right (your left).
See if they participate at all to move toward the sound.
Wait to feel their response. Look for them to initiate rolling toward the sound.
Roll them to their right and pat them gently to help them gain comfort.
Roll them again to their back and squeeze arms, legs, stroke chest/belly.
Use the rattle to their left and look for any response to the left.