Alright. My son was a 28 weeker 2lbs 11 oz :). He is now 5 months actual 11 pounds and growing great. However he has very limited upper body strength. He still has trouble holding his head up its always slightly tilted. If we prop him in the corner of the couch with pillows he still has alot of problems with slumping down. I have tried and tried tummy time but he HATES it. He has acid reflux really bad and I think it hurts him... Does anyone have any tips on helping build upper body strength?
01-05-2011, 09:37 PM
My son also has very poor upper body strength and is almost 6 months. I can share with you what the OT told us to try. He HATES tummy time. My son has no issues with acid reflux though so I don't know how effective these will be for you.
1. Roll up a bath towel or a large hand towel into a long tube. I put my son on his tummy and place the towel under him, so that the towel is under his arm pits and across his chest, supporting the chest. Make sure its not on his neck. I find that putting a small locker sized mirror on the floor close to him helps him want to stay in this position for a few minutes, probably because he can see a 'friend'. Or else I lie on the floor facing him so its not a 'boring' for him. Initially he could only stay like this for about a minute but he's now up to five minutes.
2. Whenever I pick him up from lying down or put him down I try to roll his body into a sitting postion briefly. Just so that he can feel how his body is supposed to be like when he is sitting up straight.
3. Having him sit on the floor in front of me and supporting his torso and back with my two hands, my hands are kinda spanning his mid section. I try and keep my touch light but secure, so that he doesn't topple over but he also has to work at it. I initially had to hold him jsut under the arm pits bc otherwise he would flop over but now I can move my hands down a bit. Again I use the mirror so that he is seeing something that typically interests him.
4. I bought him a bumbo and we use it for about 3 minutes several times a day currently. Again I use the mirror or lie on the floor in front of him.
When I started these exercies he would literally last about 30 seconds before he started freaking. It's been a few weeks and I do them about 5 times a day, for about 15 mins total (for all of the exercise). He now is okay for about 3-5 mins before he starts freaking out severely.
HTH and if you have any other q's, please feel free to PM me. :)
01-05-2011, 09:41 PM
Thanks for the tips I will try them out and hopefully they will work for me too.
Little Miss Kate
01-06-2011, 08:07 PM
I agree with the PP about the rolled up towel under the chest. We were given a play mat that came with a curved "pillow" that was used for that, but a towel would work just as well.
There are other things that can help them be comfortable with tummy time if you want to get fancy, here is an example
01-13-2011, 07:48 AM
didi you try calling EI? Due to your baby's low birthweight and prematurity, he will probably qualify for services and you will probably get an OT to work with him on improving his core muscles.
01-14-2011, 08:05 PM
I used a Yoga Ball when my daughter was little to help with strengthening muscles and such. For a while she hated tummy time too, and the ball helped. I could put her on it on her back and play with her, various exercises and then on her tummy to help her with neck control and lifting her head.
02-02-2011, 09:03 AM
My son has also had problems, but we're seeing a huge improvement. Try "flying" him around in the football hold (arm under his stomach, face down). My son loves it and will stay in that position for a lot longer than lying down. My husband can also "trick" him into tummy time by getting him comfortable on his back on a bed, lying down and playing with him, then slowing rolling him on to his tummy and continuing the play. Just be sure to keep it up every day - when we took a short trip and skipped tummy time, my son lost his muscle control so quickly.