My wife tells me people are clamoring for this story, so here goes. As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’m not the biggest fan of tummy time because it sounds stupid and more importantly I think it’s difficult to get the point across to your baby. The idea is to get them used to rolling over and building up strong core muscles so they can crawl and eventually walk. If it took a few days for that to sink in with me (I can be a bit slow at times) then how do I convey all that to my baby who clearly does not like being on her stomach? I said in that post that I’d keep doing tummy time with Lucy because my wife requested I do so, but to be honest, it was pretty low on the priority list between getting work done, feeding her and remembering to feed myself.
Cut to this past Saturday. My wife had gotten up with the baby and was hanging out with her. My parents were at a hotel nearby for a visit and I was still sleeping, so it was just the two of them. The missus put Lucy on a blanket on the floor for some tummy time, turned just barely away from her to grab the remote, flipped one channel and then looked down to check on the baby only to find her staring up at her on her back! She rolled over in the 20 seconds my wife looked away. A series of attempts to recreate the experience for her eyes and the vigilant eye of our Flip camera were for naught. Lucy had rolled over once and that was it.
Until yesterday that is. See, one of the problems I’ve noticed is that Lucy has trouble digging her toes into anything to get a good grip. She can curl them up like fingers, but she hasn’t really grasped the whole traction thing. I had put her on her space gym (which I can only assume is the first step towards becoming an astronaut). It’s a little slippery, but I think it also moves around enough for her to get a grip with those tiny monkey toes. Within moments she had flipped herself over on her back thanks to a little traction, a shifting of her weight and maybe the accidental movement of an arm. Thankfully, she did it once again with the camera rolling as you can see.
The whole event is admittedly not a mind-blowing revelation, at least Lucy didn’t seem to think so, but it’s a building block for her eventual mobility. The thing I have to keep in mind is that each of these seemingly inconsequential movements are actually pretty important. Each one teaches Lucy a little bit more about what her tiny body can do and lead to all the simple, obvious things we do as adults every single day that we don’t even think about anymore. Next time you’re on the floor or sitting in a chair and decide to get up, take a second to focus on everything you’re doing. Your toes probably curl a little against the floor for balance, your leg muscles tense, you push your torso upwards to gain momentum and a million other little things in an effort not to fall over. It’s a simple yet complex motion that babies have to learn as they go. So, to sum things up, I guess tummy time isn’t so dumb after all, though I still wish it had a less silly name.