My daughter is 4 months old, a developed and alert child. She lifts her head nicely and leans on her elbows but it seems that she has a lot of difficulty lying on her belly, she cries even though I stimulate her with toys, singing and talking. Her hands are to the sides and she doesn’t bring them to midline. I don’t know what to do, I tried different exercises to bring her hands closer as well as to lift her legs up. What can I do? Since she’s lying on her back a lot there’s a visible bold spot on the back of her head. I know exactly how to stimulate her because I have a 22 months old daughter who developed correctly and without any problems. (I don’t compare between the kids and each child’s development is different, but I know that the mistake is not mine.) What to do? And how to operate? I would appreciate your help. Thank you

Answer:
The reason your daughter is straggling with lying on her belly leaning on the elbows while bringing the hands to midline is derived from being on her back so much.
When a baby lies on the back a motion mold of arching the back is created, the chest remains high and rigid so the hands remain spread to the sides. When you put her on the belly her hands “escape” to the sides and it’s hard to lie on the belly like that for long. In order to lie on the belly correctly and comfortably she must learn to bring her hands to midline so she can lean on her elbows easily. It’s important to emphasize that the motion mold acquired as a result of frequently lying on the back for long effects future development with everything relating to rolling, belly crawling, and thus you should practice and lead to change. In case you practice the exercises we offer and you don’t see improvement I recommend meeting and consulting with a First Step trainer in order to teach you the exercises accurately.
With correct practice on a regular basis we witness significant improvement in similar cases. In any case I recommend practicing by this order:

  1.  Lay her on her back, lift her legs towards her face and back. Repeat this movement a number of times. Please notice that the pelvis is lifting and the back is round.
  2. Raise the pelvis, place a hand under the buttocks. With one hand hold both feet and with the other roll the pelvis towards the head. This way a lengthening of the back muscles is created and mobility in the spine. Repeat this movement a number of times.
  3.  Raise the pelvis on your leg. Light patting on the chest. In order to release any unnecessary tension.
  4. . Bring both legs and both hands close and move your daughter from side to side. Then roll her this way from side to side.
  5.  On the back. Straighten one leg and bend the other. Roll your daughter to the side of the straight leg. Get to the side and back to the back. Repeat this motion a number of times, to both sides.
  6.  Roll to the side, hold the upper bent leg. Patting on the side of the body and shoulder blade. It’s important to teach your baby to be on the sides.
  7. Have her lie on both sides.
  8.  Roll all the way to the belly. On the belly make sure she is on her elbows. Patting on the shoulder blades and shoulders. Echoing of the voice into the shoulder blade and back. You can interest her with a toy or soap bubbles.
  9. In your arms in a cradling position.
  10. On a fitness ball on the belly while leaning on the elbows rocking forwards and backwards. Good luck and you are welcome to come back and consult with us. Tali Tzamir Levy, First Step trainer.