Weight bearing/propping on arms

My 4mo has hypertonia in the limbs (mainly arms) & low tone in his trunk. It seems mild though & we’ve gotten PT since he was 2mo. He’s made progress with tummy time & has ok head control. Recently we started propping a towel under the armpits to encourage him to keep his arms/elbows forward instead of by his sides. Since doing this, he’s started reaching for toys on his belly consistently & even without the towel. As exciting as that is, he won’t stay propped on his arms since he just wants to grab whatever is in front of him so that he can bring it to his mouth. Is there anything I can do to encourage him to just keep his arms under his chest? He doesn’t take a pacifier. I’m concerned he’s not practicing putting weight on his arms. He doesn’t push up on them when tracking a toy that’s moving up; he will just over-extend his head/neck back.


There are lots of ideas for encouraging weightbearing through the arms, but I wanted to first say I think you are doing all the right things. I have a child with typical tone and we went through the same thing and then all of a sudden he was able to prop and push up. That being said, I will share some ideas but I think just continuing to provide the opportunity is great.
Ideas for prone propping and pushing up

Pre-Hands and Knees

Hopefully some of these ideas are helpful!


Love the idea of weight bearing over mom or dads legs. And since you can move your legs, you can shift the incline to either challenge your little one a little more or a little less, depending on how he’s doing. Thanks @Starfishtherapies :kissing_heart:


Hello @KN110919. I love the idea from @Starfishtherapies! I have also used the same position over a boppy pillow or a couch cushion, in case you need to support your little’s elbow so he can put weight on his hands. Weakness and hypertonia can make it harder for littles to keep their elbows straight. You can also use a ball or a foam roller if you have one, place your little on their tummy on it and slowly roll it forward so they learn how to place their hands on the floor. Hope that makes sense. If not, please let me know and I can try to get a video for you! (I do not have one as of now)