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Tummy time

If you look at old baby pictures, you’ll see tots lying happily on their bellies, graceful as skydivers, with their arms spread wide and backs impressively muscled. Their toned physiques resulted from the belly position advised by pediatricians, which required babies to raise themselves up in order to look around.

These days babies are made to lounge on their backs as a precaution against SIDS [See: SIDS]. But on the other hand, doctors, baby books, and various childcare experts now strenuously recommend “tummy time” for young babies to strengthen those back muscles they no longer exercise. The trouble is that when you put Lucy on her belly to play, she immediately becomes aggravated and tries to roll over to the position she’s used to: facing up. I don’t blame her; I can’t think of any reason why you should subject infants to this workout.

Since there’s no need to strengthen any specific muscle group, I advise you not to act as Lucy’s personal trainer. Skip the tummy time, and tickle her tummy so she’ll exercise her giggling muscles instead.