The Importance Of Placing Your Baby On Its Belly

The Importance Of Placing Your Baby On Its Belly

Last update: 13 October, 2017

Positioning a baby on its belly helps improve their physical form. It can also help them acquire new abilities that they need in order to become more independent beings. In this article we will expand on this information.

Facedown to strengthen them

When your baby is awake, place them on their belly. Being facedown helps strengthen muscles of the shoulder, neck, arms and back. Thanks to this position they will have the opportunity to achieve cephalic control. That is what allows them to pick up their head on their own. They will later be able to push up with their hands lifting up their chests until they finally start crawling.

A position that allows them to observe the world

While lying on their back, your child has a very limited perspective of the environment that they are in. They will only be able to see what is in front and above them.

As you start placing your baby face down and start “strengthening them,” they will have the ability to expand their visual field.

They will get to see all of the things around them and turn their head whenever they want. While on their tummy they can also turn around to see things that are behind them.

Facedown posture stimulates the child to be independent

Baby on its belly

If your child cannot move by themselves, and only lifts up its little head, when you pick them up by the armpits like a newborn, they will continue to be dependant on you.

However, when they can be placed facedown for a little more time, they will learn that they do need you to stretch and grab their toys that are close by. This will be the beginning of their independence.

It stimulates the development of motor skills

Put your baby facedown whenever you can in order to help them develop psychomotor skills: these are the skills that govern their movement. The moment of the lower part of their body and legs specifically.

While facedown your child will learn that if they impulse themselves a little with their feet and make a bit of effort with their arms they will be able to drag themselves wherever they want. Later, they will also figure out how to sit down and crawl.

The importance of placing your child facedown

Place your child facedown various times a day. In order to prevent them from getting tired alternate between facedown and face up, on their sides and then later pick them up.

If they are barely able to keep their head up, establish 3 times for exercise and spread them out during the day. Each exercise period should be around 10 minutes long. When they are ready you should place them on a hard surface. The floor is ideal because there they will have no risk of falling.

You can place a carpet on the floor in order to prevent them from getting cold. Place them on top of it when it is time for exercise.

Keep in mind that their exercise time should not be punishment for them.

If you place your baby facedown and you leave them without entertainment they will cry inconsolably. To prevent this when it is time to strengthen their little body, place some toys and dolls in front of them when they are face down in order to stimulate them.

“In play and only in play are children and adults individuals capable of being creative and using all of their personality. And only by being creative can an individual find himself” — Donald Winnicott

You should also get on the floor and talk to your child cheerfully in a way that they get motivated while not feeling pressured.

When you try it you can even lay face up and place your child facedown on your abdomen. This way they will be close to you and won’t complain as much, even though it is a bit uncomfortable it will make you smile.

Final advice

If when you place your child on its belly and they begin to cry until you pick them up, do not pick them up immediately. Although it can seem cruel in the moment you need to get them accustomed to this posture.

Wait for at least a minute, then you can pick them up for a minute and then place them again in the same position. You can repeat this process until they stop crying. Don’t forget to give them breaks in-between.

It is important to know that exercise time should be undertaken with long intervals between feeding. This will prevent the child from regurgitating food that they just ate.

It is also not recommended to start their strengthening exercises when they are hungry because this will cause them to cry uncontrollable. Find adequate time and make exercising a fully beneficial, pleasurable activity for them.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.