Pediatricians agree infants should have 40-60 minutes of supervised tummy time a day. Tummy time has many benefits. It strengthens their muscles and helps little ones reach important developmental milestones. But, let’s face it. Most little ones aren’t exactly appreciative of their tummy time exercise. But, tummy time doesn’t have to be tearful or traumatic (for either of you!). Using these techniques can help my floor time a fun time for you and baby to bond and play.
If your baby cannot hold her head up for a long period, it is helpful to ease them into tummy time in short sessions. Try to keep them on the floor for 2 to 3 minutes. If your baby continues to refuse, only do tummy time for a minute or two and continue increasing their activity slowly. Eventually, your little one will get used to being on their stomach and start to enjoy this daily routine. Many parents find it helpful to place a C-shape pillow under their baby’s chest to help them get a better view. Our Prop-A-Pillar Tummy Time & Seated Support™ is a fun, caterpillar toy that can be extended into a C shaped prop for support, helping infants strengthen their neck and back muscles. Your little one will also learn to play and explore through engaging with the soft, textured character, silicone teether, and peek-and-see mirror. As baby grows, you can stack the caterpillar to create a secure, standing "C" shaped seat positioner to support early sitters.
Toys are a great tool to use during tummy time. If you lay on your stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows facing your baby, you can easily introduce new toys, games, books or other distractions (this is also a good position to help alleviate the lower back strain that many new moms tend to develop!). As your baby grows, they will begin to mimic you and enjoy shifting their weight to one side in order to reach for their favorite toys, which helps prepare them for crawling. Overall, the more fun you make the experience, with plenty of face-to-face eye contact and stimulating toys, the less your little one will fight being on their belly. You can place brightly colored stuffed animals or other toys around your baby on the floor and help them reach for and play with them. You can also arrange toys in a circle around your baby to promote reaching in many different directions. Our Discover & Play Soft Blocks™ are perfect for this activity. They have high contrast colors to promote visual and sensory discovery, and your baby will love exploring the silly sounds, interesting textures, bright colors, and adorable animal pals.
Holding a mirror or light-up toys in front of your little one’s face will also help to capture their attention. Our Elephant Activity Mirror™ includes two toys—a clacker ring monkey and an adorable cloud with rainbow ribbons—and an interactive mirror to playfully encourage visual and tactile discovery during tummy time fun. Incorporating sounds and music during tummy time will stimulate your baby’s sensory development, too. Our 4 Modes Learning Peacock has interactive feathers that play a full octave of musical notes and songs to teach your little one about colors, letters, and music. These tummy time toys encourage early learning and development while distracting little ones from their tummy time position.
Activity mats can help keep little ones entertained and also provide a clean and cushioned space for tummy time. For example, our Peek & Play Tummy Time Activity Mat™ includes a padded bolster pillow that provides perfect tummy time support, along with plush play pals and a large peek n’ see mirror to encourage lifting, reaching, and grabbing. Additionally, the Take & Play Safari Activity Gym & Play Mat™ is a deluxe padded mat that entertains little explorers with soft textures. It has colorful peek-a-boo flaps to engage babies during tummy time, as well as three fun zoo friends. Each zoo pal features a different fun activity including a Giraffe Mirror, Monkey Rattle, and Crinkle-Sound Lion, each of which your baby will be sure to love!
Overall, tummy time is important and beneficial to all babies, including newborns. Helping your little one enjoy tummy time by creating a clean, comfortable space with fun interactive toys can help them enjoy this important developmental time.