Small babies and lifting head up

Hi ladies

Olyvia is 13 weeks old but has a corrected age of 9 weeks. She is still very small (8lb 11oz last week) and has really good head control and has been lifting her head up since 2 weeks old (not corrected age) when on us. However, when she has tummy time she hardly ever lifts her head up and pretty much lies with her face in the playmat or to one side. Is this ok/normal for a 13 weeks old (or perhaps rather a 9 week old) and do you think it might be because she's so small? Looking at other ladies pics from Born in Jan she seems far behind in lifting her head up but like I said her head contorl is really good when we're holding her.

She is making progress when we go swimming with holding her head up and I'm not overly concerned but wanted to check. Sometimes I think it may be because she's SO small that her neck isn't really long enough for her to get her head up - does that make sense!?

I give her some tummy time everyday and like I said we go swimming every week. Is there anything else I can do to help her?

Thanks, NN and Olyvia xxx


  • I'm not sure if there's anything you can do to help her, but Jak was pretty much the same at that age. He can now lift his head up really well, he's almost turning over. He's 19 weeks on Thursday. I don't think it's anything to worry about hun, maybe mention it to your hv if you're really concerned, but babies vary so much as to when they do things!
  • T did this as well - she held her head up very early when I was holding her in arms and when she was on my (or DH's) chest, but when we had tummy time she just lay face down or face to one side (and usually cried - she hated/hates tummy time!) I was convinced she'd never lift her head and would never crawl either...

    Then last weekend (at 14 wks) I put her down in front of a mirror and she lifted her head right up (like a mini push up) until it was pretty much 90 degrees to the floor! We were really surprised as it just came out of nowhere, but I'm sure it was the mirror that helped.

    Babies do develop at different rates and sometimes they just suddenly learn how to do something, Lyvi could be like this. But if you want to help her along, I'd recommend a mirror. The one we used was the one off the mantlepiece in the front room (so quite big) propped up in front of the sofa.

  • Our pic is a fluke, Emilia is rubbish at tummy time and just lays there eating the sheet I use to prop her up. I think I might give the mirror a try as Mrs_ed suggests.

    I wouldnt worry Nat, I am sure Olyvia will do it in her own time

    Joanna x
  • The boys are 24 weeks (20 corrected) and still struggle to hold their heads up during tummy time (which they hate anyway). However, when holding them they practically sit up on your arm (if you know what I mean) and they can sit up unaided for a short amount of time, and aided for ages. I wouldnt worry too much. I worried for ages, but I just dont think they are bothered about holding them up on the floor! lol!

    Gemma, Ryan and Alfie 24 + 1
  • Hi
    like Olyvia, Monty (a bit younger than Olyvia at 7 weeks) has good head control if upright. He loves peering around when I burp him. He's not so thrilled about tummy time (but loves sleeping on his tummy on me!!!) and doesn't make an effort when on his mat. I'll definitely try the mirror idea though image
  • I'm so relieved to read this thread! Toby is 11 weeks and he HATES tummy time. He has really good head control when sitting on our laps or being held on our hips etc but when I try lying him down on his tummy he just lies face down or to the side and screams his head off! Everyone else from our antenatal group is really good at doing pushups etc to lift up their heads and I was feeling a bit bad about it image
  • Sorry to jump in on your thread but when should you start tummy time? My two are only 2 weeks old - is this too early?
  • hey nat, emmy-lee is the same when it comes to tummy time she just likes to lie there with her head on its side (usually licking her mat! lol) and rarely lifts or tries to lift her head then.

    however she constantly wants to be sat upright on my knee and has pretty amazing head control when like that.

    she's also still very small (only 10lbs at 10 weeks), so under the 25th centile, so maybe it is harder for little babies to do it when they're on their tummies? or maybe she just doesnt want to yet. my LO is a terror when she doesnt want to do something lol
  • poohsticks - you can start early if they dont mind. Some babies, like my boys, still hate it now at 5.5 months.

    It wont hurt for a few mins a day xxx
  • Max always hated tummy time too (was 6 weeks prem) and never really lifted his head high off the floor - sometimes I would lay him so his chest was on my bf cushion and this 'seemed' to help cos he was already off the floor so he would attempt to have a bit of a look around.
  • Hey NN - Cam completely hated tummy time until about a week and a half ago. He'd lift his head at 45 degrees ever so slightly off the ground for a few seconds and that was about it. Then i put him down one day and it was like he had clicked that he could lift and hold his head and that was that, now he'll hold it up for about 10 minutes but he literally went from nothing to that! But you might we right about Olyvia's little neck muscles. Cam was 8lb 11oz when he was born and was 13lb 06oz last Wednesday at 10 weeks so he's a right porker and it must be easier image xx
  • Grant is nearly 14lbs and still gums the playmat during tummytime :roll

    I tried rolling a blanket up and putting it down in a c shape and placing him on it but he didn't really enjoy it much. He can hold his head up perfectly so maybe he just doesn't see the point? my hv told me tummytime doesn't hav to be vertical on the floor as long as he's on his tummy it can be on your chest for example at an angle and you can gradually increase the angle untill you're laying flat x
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