#61: How to Make Tummy Time Fun with Michele Napierkowski

by | Apr 4, 2023 | New parent, Podcast

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast

Take Your Baby Out Of The Container

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast


#61: How to Make Tummy Time Fun

with Michelle Napierkowski


If you are a new parent, then you have probably heard that tummy time is important for your baby. It’s equally important to be knowledgeable about the container baby syndrome.  

As a parent of three children with disabilities and a special education expert, Michele Napierkowski has a wealth of knowledge on how to help non-mobile infants get moving. In this episode, Michele shares valuable tips to get babies up and active. We talk about the pros and cons of various equipment that parents use for their non-mobile infants, the value of floor time, tummy time, and when to start putting a child down on the floor. Michelle also advised against relying too much on swings to get babies to sleep and that parents should engage with their children to promote open-ended play and movement.  

Parents don’t need expensive toys or equipment, changing out just three toys every five days can be effective. Check out this episode with Michele for more insights on managing non-mobile infants! 

In the 2023 season of Parenting in the First 3 Years, we’ll be bringing on parents just like you to share the story of their personal journey. Would you like to apply to be considered as a guest? Let’s talk about it! Simply email Ann McKitrick at ask@nurturednoggins.com

Topics discussed:
  • How parents can manage their non-mobile infants
  • Pros and cons of various equipment used for non-mobile infants
  • Importance of floor time and tummy time
  • When to start putting a child down on the floor
  • Ideal minimum time for tummy time
  • Using props to support the baby’s chest and arms
  • Importance of adult supervision
  • Open-ended play and movement
  • Avoiding reliance on swings to get babies to sleep in childcare centers
  • Practical ideas on how to create floor spaces in and out of the house
What is the Container Baby Syndrome 

Container Syndrome is a term used to describe the lack of skill in infants who are not allowed ample movement opportunities. Container Baby Syndrome is the result of an infant being placed in a container for an excessive amount of time during the day. 

Importantly, this is not to shame use of baby containers…or to say that use of these items is to be omitted at all costs. It’s important for the wellbeing of the caretaker to put the baby down sometimes! Things need done around the home. Parents need a shower, or some time to themselves. Other children need care. 

Constant use of positioners, or devices is what leads to the syndrome known as baby container syndrome, not using some of these items sporadically. This extended time leads to structural, movement, and behavioral challenges as a result.  

Baby containers include baby equipment and items such as:

  • Restrictive playpen that does not allow for movement
  • Crib
  • Car Seats
  • Strollers
  • Bumbo Seats
  • Bouncy Seats and Swings
  • Rockers
  • Nursing Cushions
  • Vibrating Chairs
  • Jumpers
  • Exersaucers
  • Positioning Pillows
  • Slings
  • Floor Seats
  • Infant Swings
  • Walkers
  • Jumpers
About our guest

Michele Napierkowski has a Master’s degree in Early Intervention from the University of Pittsburgh. Before becoming an assistant professor of Early Education and Child Development at the Community College of Allegheny County, Michele worked as an early intervention provider in Allegheny and Washington County’s Birth to 3 program.  Michele also worked as Infant Mental Health Specialist and parent mentor for NurturePA. Michele lives in the south hills of Pittsburgh with her husband, three children, and a handful of reptiles.

Michele Napierkowsk Podcast Guest

Free Resource:

Container Baby Syndrome


Listen now!


Let’s nurture our connection:




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About Ann

I’m a child development specialist, parent coach and teacher trainer. I’ve cared for countless babies in child development programs, plus 3 kids, 4 grand babies and 5 foster babies! I LOVE babies and would come hold yours if I could. ❤️

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