Are you preparing to get your baby circumcised?
Or perhaps your baby has successfully undergone the painful procedure of circumcision already. And I bet you feel relieved about that.
However, you might be WONDERING if your baby can do tummy time after circumcision, considering what they just passed through.
Not just you; others have been in your position before, wondering if their baby can do tummy time after circumcision.
But not to worry because that’s precisely what I’m about to address in this guide today. Stay with me.
What Is Circumcision?
This is a surgical operation carried out to remove the foreskin covering the tip of a penis.
Studies show that 58.3% of male newborns and 80.5% of males aged between 14-59 years in the United States are circumcised.
However, circumcision is usually done for one of two reasons– religious or medical reasons.
From the religious perspective, the origin of such practice dates back to the Old Testament when God mandated that the practice represent his covenant with Abraham and his generations after that.
But from the medical perspective, circumcision is done to ensure proper genital hygiene and reduce the risk of penile infections, penile cancer (although rare), and other sexually transmitted infections that might occur in uncircumcised men.
You should be fully aware of the benefits and possible risks of circumcision before engaging your baby in it. Circumcision can be done in the first few days after birth under local anesthetic. Or after 6 months of age under general anesthetic.
Babies usually feel pains after circumcision for 3 to 4 days. The circumcised area might take up to 1 or 3 weeks to heal completely.
What Is Tummy Time?
The tummy time began in 1994 when Americans Academics Pediatricians (AAP) started a Back to Sleep campaign. It was a campaign that recommended babies sleep on their backs to parents.
This was recommended to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There was an increase in ‘Torticollis’ (a condition where babies’ heads tilt to one side). Tummy time was then introduced.
Tummy time is when a baby is placed on the stomach for a short time under supervision. The baby must be fully awake during this period.
‘It is a great time to play and interact with your baby, ‘ lean Bridenbaugh, a pediatrician. During tummy time, avoid distraction because your attention is duly needed.
Supervision is essential so parents can easily monitor their baby’s position and encourage social interaction. Tummy time is recommended to be practiced from birth.
Infants who are not yet mobile and are under 12 months of age should experience tummy time for at least 30 minutes per day. This was suggested by World Health Organization (WHO).
Toys and colorful kinds of stuff like books should be used during this session; it could distract them because some infants may not feel comfortable when tummy time is first introduced to them.
When Can I Start Tummy Time?
At first, most babies detest tummy time, so a distraction can help keep them in place in such a situation. Introducing toys as a form of distraction could be helpful.
That said, you can start tummy time with your baby in the first week of getting discharged from the hospital. This applies to babies with no health issues.
How Is Tummy Time Done?
For your newborn baby, you could stick to a 3 to 4 minutes duration, but as your baby gets stronger and older, the time should be increased.
You could increase it to 20 or 30 minutes, depending on your babies’ tolerance. You might also be wondering how to go about tummy time; here is the tip;
For newborns, place the baby’s belly on your chest, stomach, or lap for 3 or 4 minutes. Some babies who find this intolerable may end up crying. You can stop at that moment but don’t give up on the practice. Try it again the next day; you will surely notice changes.
For babies of three months, At this age, your baby starts getting stronger and can last longer. You could move your baby to the floor or mat during tummy time because, at this age, your baby must have been able to lean on its arms. You can use a rolled-up towel or your hands to support the lifting of their heads until they master the act.
Lay on the floor/mat during tummy time with them to encourage social interaction. Make this session entertaining by introducing toys, colorful books, or even mirrors. Watch as your baby tries to reach for the toys; this act helps the development of your baby’s motor skills.
Do this for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your baby. Two to three sessions per day are okay. This should be done when your baby is fully awake.
Can My Baby Do Tummy Time After Circumcision?
There are three general methods of circumcision for babies, namely;
Mogen clamps, Gomco clamps, and the Plastibell technique.
These methods don’t take much time. During this process, complications may occur, including bleeding, causing more pain to the baby.
It is normal and should be expected for your baby to cry for an extended period after getting circumcised. For the first 24 hours, babies cry and might be fussy, but after 3 to 4 days, the pain subsides, and the circumcised area might adequately heal after a few weeks.
So, back to the question…
Can my baby do tummy time after circumcision?
You can engage your baby in tummy time after the first day of the circumcision, but precautions must be taken.
Remember, your baby has just undergone a surgical operation and is most likely in pain.
The circumcised area is not adequately healed yet. So, you must be extremely careful about laying your baby on their stomach.
For a newborn baby, lay down flat, place the baby on your stomach for a short period, and ensure the circumcised area is well taken care of.
If the baby is three months old, you could place her on a clean surface like a soft mat. If your baby starts crying, stop the tummy time and try the next day again.
Take each session easy and gently. Although, some babies may not be able to tolerate this process due to the pain.
Side lying is an alternative session. Lie your baby on their side.
During tummy time or side lying, ensure you do this when your baby is fully awake and you are free enough to engage and supervise this process thoroughly.
If you are uncomfortable with tummy time after circumcision for your baby, don’t engage your baby in it.
After 3 to 4 days, the pain from the circumcision must have subsided; you can continue with the tummy time session.
Advantages Of Tummy Time
Tummy Time is an essential practice for babies.
It is a form of infant exercise; as we all know, exercises are healthy for the body.
Some of the advantages of tummy time are;
It Helps Develop Babies’ Motor Skills
A motor skill is a function that involves specific movements of the body’s muscles to perform certain tasks.
Tummy Time helps babies develop skills like walking, crawling, running, and even the ability to build strength in their necks and control their head movements.
“Babies learn how to move from side to side by spending time on their tummies, which helps them to learn to reach and crawl,” says PETA Smith, vice chair of APIP.
It Prevents Plagiocephaly
This is also called ‘Flat head syndrome. It occurs when a flat spot develops on the back or side of a baby’s head. When you frequently practice tummy time with your baby by laying your baby on his/her stomach, this syndrome will be comfortably avoided.
It Reduces Positional Torticollis
This is a case whereby infants’ heads tend to tilt to one side. Tummy Time is a form of exercise for babies that help get rid of torticollis.
Research shows that lack of tummy time can delay your baby from reaching physical development milestones like; crawling, rotating the neck, rolling, and running.
Tummy time is associated with improved cardiovascular health and body mass index (BMI). This was discovered after research.
When To Stop Tummy Time
You can stop tummy time if you notice your baby has developed better neck and head control and
There is an improvement in their motor skills. Most babies achieve this at 6 months.
Tummy Time is a good practice where babies are placed on their stomachs for a short period under supervision.
You can start tummy time with your baby in the first week you get discharged from the hospital.
When doing the tummy time with your newborn, lay them on your body and do it when they are awake.
Some babies may not tolerate this process and end up crying. That shouldn’t stop you from continually introducing this practice to your baby because it benefits your child’s health.
With time, your baby will get used to it. Tummy time helps your baby better control their neck. After circumcision, most parents may consider tummy time dangerous and harmful to their babies.