Let's be clear: Abby despises tummy time. Wouldn't you if you had to lie on top of tubes?! It doesn't sound very comfortable to me!
Our therapist had tried lots of different methods to get Abby a little more tolerant of the oh-so-important (especially for her!) tummy time. She had some positioners that she used to prop her arms on, but that just made Abby more mad. She tried pulling the tubes to the side or right down the middle, but neither of those seemed to make a difference. Basically, we just dealt with the screaming and made her do it anyway. I'm mean like that. :)
Then my mom sent me a link to a discussion on http://www.tracheostomy.com/ about the Lamaze Spin and Explore. Everyone there talked about how great it was for trached and vented kids because they are up off of the floor and are able to see the patterns and toys below.
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical! It wasn't cheap and I didn't really need one more thing cluttering up our already cluttered playroom-turned-the-place-where-Abby-stays. (Notice I did not call it her room. Because it's not. Her room is a pretty purple color right across the hall from ours. This current living area will never be her room!! But I'll save that soapbox for another post!) After reading so many reviews on how great this was for special needs kids, I figured I would give it a try.
Abby LOVES it! She will play on it a whole lot longer than anything else we've tried, and I can even get her to lie directly on the mat without too much fussing because she likes the activities and colors. The basic idea is that there is a mat with toys and bright colors on it. Then, there's a separate "surf board" (that is really what it looks like!) about the size of a round step stool that can go on to of the mat. Abby can spin around on the board by using her arms to push. I've noticed a marked improvement in her arm strength since she has started this. We do have to make sure she doesn't get lazy and just put her head down on the surf board, but it has definitely helped with the overall tummy time initiative!
It's not just for kids with special needs, though. You can go on Amazon and see the reviews written by others. I think it is a great little alternative to the traditional tummy time mat! It would make a really nice shower gift too. :)