Does your baby hate tummy time?

A new parent is overwhelmed with all the information given to them and all the questions they have about parenting and doing the right thing for their baby in the days after having a baby and I know this because I was that parent more than a decade ago.

I can still remember all the advice I was given by well meaning friends, family and even strangers when the pediatrician told me that my baby had colic and reflux. Keep your baby upright for 30 minutes, use white noise of a vacuum cleaner or the static from a radio, give your baby gripe water, don’t eat cabbage or cauliflower, etc. etc.

I was willing to try anything and everything to make sure that my baby did not have long periods of crying and feeling miserable. Of course, I was miserable with my baby but beside the point at that time.

I felt isolated and exhausted and angry at times too. I chose to hold on to my loneliness, sleeplessness and emotional exhaustion just to make sure that my image of a good mom was unscathed, even from myself. Boy, was I wrong !

You are not alone

Many of you may be going through something similar, where your baby may be diagnosed with reflux or colic or both. I wish I had known then, what I know now about how there is so much help out there for babies with reflux and colic and the only thing stopping me from getting help was me.

I was so scared to put my baby in the car seat because I was worried she might start crying and would never stop. I stayed in my house for the first three and a half months of her life and I did not have a life other than taking care of her.

Resources are available for you in your community

I wish I had known about getting my baby to see a pediatric chiropractor or craniosacral therapist or got to a new parent support group. I would have definitely put money into such services and saved me and my family hours of sleepless nights and lonesome days.

Here are some obstacles that I thought were insurmountable to me as a new mother to a baby who had colic. Insufficient sleep, insufficient peace of mind and the real fear of putting her in a car seat and going from place A to place B and the feeling that I was torturing my child by putting her in the car.

There is no specific definition of colic per se and many new parents are giving their babies anti-reflux medications as suggested by their healthcare providers. I am sure there is a place for medications for babies with true reflux or other gut issues, and there is a place for bodywork, infant massage and TummyTime!™ Method classes.

Let me just say there is hope and what I needed as a brand new mother. I have made it my mission to be that hope for new parents I meet through my work or meet through friendship. I had significant support and help in the first month postpartum but felt like I was the only one going through it, and no one understood the struggles that I had.

Find your tribe

I hope new parents know that they can reach out and ask for help from their community and it makes us all stronger. I teach the TummyTime! Method classes at our local chiropractor’s office. I see new parents coming to my class with either a curiosity or with the hope that they may help their babies find the calm.

I meet new parents and as I tell them what I do they start to talk to me about how their baby hates spending time on their tummies now or how their first born never liked being on their tummy. I always go back to the time when I was a new parent and thought my baby hated their car seat. It was not the car seat they hated, but something in their body did not feel right when they were in that car seat.

Same applies to babies who “hate” tummy time. Some babies hate being on their tummies because something in their body does not feel right. Now we may not know what that something is every time,  but we as parents can certainly try to learn more about how to help them through it, well TummyTime Method classes do that and more.

Who came up with the idea of the TummyTime! Method? It is developed by my teacher Michelle Emanuel, who is an Occupational Therapist with more than 15 years of experience working with babies and kids. The TummyTime Method has its foundations in The PolyVagal Theory of Dr. Steven Porges, occupational therapy, reflexology, yoga and many other modalities that works with a baby’s nervous system.

How can TummyTime!™ Method help your baby?

After the first class, parents comeback to the next class with more questions and how they notice the improvement in their baby’s head and neck control, digestion, and even the amount of time their babies are able to spend on their tummies.

I have made this class into a 4 week series because each class builds on the skills that babies learn in the first class. The next question that comes to my mind as a parent is, what if my baby is 3 months old and the other babies in the class are either younger or older than my baby ? The marvelous thing about the TummyTime Method is each class is tailored to your baby’s specific developmental stage and they do get their own homework and so do you. Yes, I do give you homework.

Is it really worth your while?

What we try to accomplish in each class is helping your baby find the balance between effort and ease, with you, the parent as their center. With the information now available to us as new parents there is not enough time to navigate through all of it but what I hope to do for you is to make the information easy to assimilate and apply into your daily routine where it is not a chore but a meaningful and bonding time with your baby.

Sign up for the next TummyTime!™ Method series 

Teething getting you in trouble ?



Here a few of my favorite teething toys and tips (the tips are in a clickable image) :

The OlaSprout Bendable Baby Spoon set : Soft, silicone spoon that serves a dual purpose, as it can be used as spoon by baby but before that you can use it as a teething toy.

This starfish teether has different textures on each arm. Your baby will enjoy chewing on this one.

The Octobrush is similar to the starfish in that it has textured tentacles too.

These Chewy P and Q were designed to reach the back of your baby’s gums and the gets them to exercise their tongue.

If you have a baby who has a couple of teeth and needs toothbrushing practice or not, I love the Baby Banana too.

This bib also doubles as teething toy and a drool catcher.

I love this natural rubber teething ball, soft and light weight.


TummyTime!™ and car ride helpers

I like the Overball for babies older than 12 weeks old upto pre-crawlers.


The Sassy Mirror for TummyTime is another great choice

This light up toy is also musical.

The Sassy Rattle is quite handy too.

My favorite tummytime mat that is easy to store and clean and is reversible.

The ones below are also other good options for travel time tummytime.

A book for baby

For rear facing babies that don’t like their carseats, this may help them

5 toys to invest in for your baby

I get asked this question a lot when I am working with parents of newborns. “What kind of toys should we buy for our baby?” As much I would love to give you a list of a hundred toys. I have to stop myself from getting carried away by all that glam. I really believe that a parent’s presence and their voice cannot be compared with any toy in the universe.

Having said that, I also teach the TummyTime!™ Method classes around Portland and one thing I have learned from my teacher Michelle Emanuel, who developed this wonderful program is babies like things in small doses and I think that we, as adults can also do better with small lists instead of the top 100 things and such. So here are 5 toys I like for a baby aged 1-6 months old.

1.The Nogginstick ( simple and easy to grasp rattle that also lights up and has a mirror)

2. The Blue Beckman Tri-chew

3. First Years Massaging Teether or Bright Starts Massaging teether (for a baby who is teething or needs oral motor exercise and stimulation)

4. The O-Ball (good for tongue movements)

5. The Wowie starfish teether

If you find any other products that helped your baby, you are always welcome to comment on this post and put the link up. I would love to hear back from you if you purchased any of the above toys and give me your opinion about it. I would be grateful to you if you could purchase the toys mentioned in the list through the links from my website.

Hitting the pause button

I am sharing this blogpost that I had written for my friend Stacie Bingham’s blog on her website that honors doulas by celebrating them and their stories. She is someone I look up to as a doula, a friend and another human. I love all her posts and all the guests that post on her site have something to teach me as well.

I am preparing to take my IBLCE in October and I am going through a lazy phase of not writing too. I am hitting that pause button one more time.

Hitting the Pause Button

A postpartum doula and a privileged client.

I wanted to write this post for the longest time but was only halfway done. I have to admit that I was not willing to post this or maybe did not have the courage to post it earlier. But I think it will be good for my own healing to get it out of my mind and my computer.

    An experience I had with a past client of mine. This is an example of privilege that may or may or may not have been obvious to that person who I was interviewing with or so I thought. When I first met the family here is how the conversation started. One of the question asked during the interview that I had to answer as a postpartum doula was this, ” so, what brings you to this narcissistic country of ours? ” I was so shocked by that question that I had to gather myself and stop for a few minutes to think about what I should say.

I smiled, and told him that this country has given me a lot and I don’t for one minute think that USA is a narcissistic country. I started thinking to myself that how did he conclude that I was not a citizen of this country ? Which by the way I have been for some time now.

    Another incident that happened after a few days with the same person was when I was working in their home doing my job.  He walks up to me and says, “Hey Sejal, here, (handing me his cellphone) say hi to Mr. XYZ. I am shocked again, so I say but I don’t know Mr. XYZ. He says just say hi, so I did and I thought it would end there. In retrospect I felt that I should have said no altogether but just to be nice I said hello.

  After I said hi to the guy on the other end, the person who handed me the phone says to me, ” NO! NO! NO! NO! say it in a thick and heavy Indian accent !” GASP ! At this point I am almost ready to walk out of their house, but I didn’t. Why did I choose to stay ? I thought of his partner and baby, who needed my help. I eventually did quit, but with a guilt that I could not continue to help this family. Looking back, I know I made the right choice.

    The takeaway for me from this experience was that, no matter how hard I tried, to that person I would be an outsider or someone lesser. I may get a lot of negative or positive responses from anyone who reads this, but that is not why I am writing this. I am writing this because I want to remind myself and everyone around me that we have to keep having these discussions even though we are not the most comfortable with it.

     If we want to support people from other cultures, communities or non-traditional families, we have to meet them and get to know them by asking them questions and remind ourselves repeatedly that we are not assuming anything about their culture and discriminating even unknowingly. America was a country made by immigrants and will remain so.

Let us make our community and its policies conducive to those who feel like they are treated different because they may not be from the same social, economic or cultural background. If we act together, the change will heal the trauma of disparities, indifference and discrimination and make everyone’s life better.

It still intimidates me to walk in a roomful of people from a community or a setting I do not know or belong to. But I make myself go in there and talk to them. Sometimes I feel heard and end up making lifelong friends and sometimes I feel like a fool. When I am not aware and awake to what is happening around me, I cannot change myself and I stop learning.

    I was listening to an interview on the radio and Matthew Sanford was speaking. He talked about how the nurses who worked with him after a car accident had literally saved his life. He came from a privileged family and his mother had access to resources to get him the best care possible but had to struggle to get the hospital to release him for getting a second opinion which was literally the second chance at life for him.

Matthew said one thing in his interview that I will remember for as long as I live, and that is “Trauma does not just happen to one person, it happens to a family and a community.”

It leaves me to wonder why are we tolerating so much violence against our own kind, be it hispanic, gay, african american or any other color, gender or lifestyle. Are we perpetrating trauma every single day ? Are we making it seem normal that people are being shot at and yelled at and all the wrongs that happen against them are part of day to day life now.

We must stop regularizing trauma.