Inside: Stressing out about tummy time? Take a breath. Help is on the way! You’ll love our best tummy time toys and tips to keep even the fussiest baby happy! Learn all about tummy time, when to start, and what to do when your baby doesn’t like tummy time!
Wondering where to start with tummy time? I know it can seem overwhelming! Keeping on top of your baby’s development seems like a full-time job.
Luckily, tummy time doesn’t have to be one of those overwhelming things on your to-do list. In fact, getting your baby started off right with tummy time play is easier than ever, thanks to our favorite toys and tips!
My babies hated tummy time at first. But we used these tips to encourage happy tummy time play! I hope these toys and advice will help your baby enjoy tummy time as he grows and learns!
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Why is Tummy Time Important for Babies?
When I was a new mom I had never heard the phrase “tummy time.” Then all of a sudden it was everywhere! I quickly learned how important tummy time is for babies!
Spending time on his tummy will help your baby avoid flat head syndrome or positional plagiocephaly. Consistent tummy time also forces the use of neck muscles and gives your baby’s skull the chance to grow together correctly.
Have you ever noticed that babies tend to turn their heads to one side while they sleep? Because of this, they are at risk for developing positional torticollis or twisted neck. Tummy play is great for encouraging side to side head movements and twists. These simple movements during play help stretch and strengthen neck muscles even more.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s development, it’s always a good idea to talk to your pediatrician. Write down a few questions or notes ahead of time so that you can be prepared!
When Should Babies Start Tummy Time?
You know tummy time is important, but did you know you can start tummy time on day one? Every time you hold your baby close on your chest and sing him a song, that’s tummy time! Consistent tummy time has so many benefits that stretch across physical, emotional, and mental developments.
Newborn Tummy Time
For newborn tummy time, it’s best to keep it simple and short! Try carrying your newborn in a football hold. Be careful to support his head and neck and keep him tucked close. Or try laying your newborn on your chest so that you’re face to face for extra kisses! This can help soothe a colicky baby, too.
2 Week Old Tummy Time
At two weeks old, your baby’s favorite toy is your face! Get up close and personal with tummy time. To help support those growing muscles, try rolling up a small baby blanket and placing it underneath your baby’s arms.
Your baby’s wake time will likely still be around 45 minutes. Steal 2-3 of those minutes for tummy time after every nap cycle. Little bits add up quickly!
1 Month Old Tummy Time
Around one month, your baby will begin to be able to turn his head during tummy time. Encourage this skill by moving colorful or musical toys from side to side.
If you’re struggling to find time for tummy time, try this trick to remember. After every diaper change, place your baby on the floor on his tummy for one or two minutes. Get down on his eye level and sing a song, clap, or talk. This simple habit will increase your baby’s tummy play overnight!
2 Month Old Tummy Time
At two months old, your baby will begin to have more use of his neck muscles. Pay close attention to make sure your baby is moving his head to both sides. If he favors one side, take notes and get your pediatrician’s advice to rule out positional torticollis.
Play peek-a-boo, or help your baby engage with a high-contrast board book to keep tummy time interesting!
3 Month Old Tummy Time
At three months, most babies are beginning to bear weight on their arms. They’ll develop the ability to lift their head more straight up and down, instead of just side to side.
By three months, your goal is at least one hour of tummy time per day. It doesn’t have to be all at one time! Take short, frequent tummy play breaks during the day to keep your baby growing.
4 Month Old Tummy Time
At four months, your baby will start to develop even more neck and upper body strength. He’ll be able to track toys and objects with his eyes, too! Your baby will love high-contrast and brightly colored toys and manipulatives.
Be sure to keep talking and interacting with your baby during this time of fast growth!
5 Month Old Tummy Time
By five months old, most babies will be able to push up on their arms with straight elbows. This is a whole new world for your baby! He may be able to start grasping for toys that are nearby. Tummy time can develop the beginning stages of eye-hand coordination!
This is a great time to introduce a variety of toys and interactives. Give your baby plenty of things to manipulate with his hands to develop his fine-motor strength.
6 Month Old Tummy Time
By six months, your baby is a tummy time pro. He can turn in a circle, grab toys and objects, and begin to explore his world more. Many babies also start to roll around this time, which makes tummy time exciting! Be sure to place your baby on the floor in a space that is safe even if he decides to roll around the room.
What if Baby Doesn’t Like Tummy Time?
If your baby doesn’t like tummy time, that’s completely normal. Both of my babies hated tummy play at first, but we kept at it! Consistent tummy time will help your baby build the confidence and muscle strength he needs!
For babies that hate tummy time, try this trick:
- Start by placing your baby on his side. Roll up a baby blanket behind his back to keep him side-lying.
- Play with your baby in this side position for one minute.
- Gently roll him to his tummy for the remainder of tummy time.
I’ve found that easing into tummy time helped both my babies avoid the shock of suddenly being face-first in the carpet! A gentle roll made the transition much easier! We gradually built up into full tummy play sessions.
Never leave your baby unattended during tummy time! Stay close by to supervise your baby’s playtime.
The Best Tummy Time Mat or Pillows
There are so many great tummy time toys and tools that will make this easier for your baby. Try out our handpicked products that will help even the fussiest baby learn to love tummy time!
Tummy Time Mats
These all-in-one tummy time mats engage your baby from the start!
- Tummy Time Mat with Mirror and Pillow
- Turtle Tummy Time Mat
- Fuzzy Bear Tummy Time Mat
Boppy Tummy Time Pillows
- Sea Explorers Boppy Tummy Time Pillow
- Boppy Original Newborn Lounger– Elephant Gray
- Original Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner
Best Tummy Time Toys
Keep your baby stimulated with a variety of toys, books, and interactive objects! Browse through these best tummy time toys.
Books for Tummy Time
- Koala Crinkle Activity Book
- Crinkle Animal Tail Book Set
- High Contrast Soft Baby Book Set
- Touch and Feel Buddy Dog Book
- See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book
Mirrors for Tummy Time
Musical Toys and Rattles for Tummy Time
Balls and Movement Toys for Tummy Time
Is tummy time stressful for you and your baby? I hope these tummy time toys and tips will make playtime more enjoyable for you both!
Remember to stay consistent, even if it’s just for one or two minutes at a time. Every minute of tummy time counts!
Share with us below, does your baby love or hate tummy time? What makes tummy time easier for your child?