Wondering when to add tummy time into your daily mix? These tummy time tips will help you get your little one moving in no time.
I’ll never forget when my firstborn was put down for tummy time in the early days.
I was so eager to do everything right.
After having fed her – she was an efficient feeder – I knew she should be kept up for a bit before going back down for a nap. After all, healthy sleep habits can be started from day one with very minimal fussing.
Anyway, I put her down, and she screamed. Turned bright red. Spit up a little it.
SO I FIRED TUMMY TIME.
Well, after that, I learned a thing or two about when to put baby down. How to actually make it pleasant, and how to even use it to my own advantage (a.k.a. to help wake baby up for full feeds!).
Gone were the days of screaming during tummy time. It is supposed to be fun and, with a few tips and tricks, it can be.
Tummy Time Basics
Even though we’ve all read and heard about tummy time benefits, there’s nothing like washing your own baby accomplish this.
Just like my first child didn’t appear to love tummy time at first, with some practice it because one of our favorite times. I remember being so proud as she grew stronger.
It’s also something great to add into your independent play. Yes, even babies can start “playing” independently here or there, which will set them up for success later.
Here are some tips for mom’s just getting started:
- Always be sure to place baby on a flat surface away from any edges where he or she may roll off.
- Tummy time should be a pressure free and relaxing. Don’t leave baby on tummy if they cry and cry. Give it a bit and try again.
- Don’t do directly after baby eats or baby will spit up.
- This time is great when you want to wake baby up so they are hungry enough to actually feed fully. From experience, this works well so baby won’t feed for a minute and then fall asleep. Use tummy time to help wake baby up.
Why to do tummy time
I learned right away that it helped with strength and independence… both things that helped us navigate through the baby stage.
If you’re like me… you’re always thinking about baby development in the back of your mind (I think all mommies have that going on).
I was helping a non-profit deliver food one Thanksgiving and came into the house of a young mother with a baby- probably about 10 months old.
I was shocked to see his head was almost completely flat in the back. Now, there were a lot of non-optimal factors going on in their home, yet it was obvious that baby had not had adequate tummy time.
It is also very important for the strengthening of neck and shoulder muscles, prompting trunk stability, and development of gross motor skills.
When to fit tummy time into your daily routine with baby
As they say, the days are long but the years are short.
Even with 5 babies in 5 years, I can attest to that.
Instead of always grabbing baby, putting her into the car seat, and running errands when you get bored, you can change things up. Do tummy time or find the little things about baby to enjoy that are so fleeting.
Sample Baby Routines
Now that we know why to do it, how to do it, and when to do it, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
You can – of course – simply put baby down on a soft blanket on the floor. This will work just fine. If the blanket’s a solid color it may not be as visually stimulating and, as baby ages, will not hold baby’s atention for as long.
The key is to use what you have and, if you want some more toys, to choose wisely for the long haul. Here are some gear you can use for this sweet baby and any babies to come.
Before you go looking for awesome tummy time mats, check these out. I have done some research and grabbed the best out there!
- Baby Water Mat- This super bright and colorful underwater water Tummy Time Baby Mat is top rated. It is designed to stimulate growth and keep baby fascinated.
- Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym– This Baby Mat is rated best over all because of it’s functionality and versatility.
- Developmental Playmat– I love this one because it includes a large stand-up mirror and teether. Tummy Time Playmat also has bright colors and is machine washable!
- Baby Mat– This Tummy Time Mat features teething toys, a magic motion train track, and is musical themed.
- Super Play Mat– The Super Play Mat offers extra room for fun and discovery. I love the playful textures and colors for baby’s attention development.
Tummy time pillows
While baby is getting good at having tummy time, I have found it useful to give them a little support for further play.
These pillows are the best on the web!
- Prop-A-Pillar– This Tummy Time Pillow Support for newborn and older babies comes with detachable pillows and toys. I have found that it’s great for strong head and neck muscles.
- Boppy Prop Pillow- The Boppy Tummy Time Pillow has a fun crinkle toy and teething ring. I like that I has an extra spot to attach baby’s own toy.
- Baby Tummy Time Pillow- The Taf Tummy Time Pillow is ideal for younger babies and enables natural development.
- Tummy Time Pillow Infant Play- This Tummy Time Pillow encourages reaching, lifting, and grabbing while offering comfortable support. Love the lion theme!
- Tummy Time Llama– The Grow With Me Llama is an adorable pillow and play set!
Toys that help baby like tummy time more
As a mom… especially when my kids were babies, I loved when they were obviously loving their play time. It also helped me get some things done.
Playtime is so important for growth- mentally and psychically.
These are top rated toys to help baby enjoy tummy time more:
- Jumbo Baby Activity/Sensory Exploration- This Activity Gym and Ball Pit is top rated excellent for baby’s learning to play.
- Zig Zag Activity Floor Gym– With three ways to play, this Safari Activity Gym is fun and safe for baby’s tummy time.
- Discovery Play Gym– The Baby Einstein Gym allows baby to play while laying, sitting, tummy, and take along.
- Music & Lights Deluxe Gym– There’s so much to see and explore on this fun newborn-older baby gym. The Rainforest Music & Lights Gym responds to baby’s movements.
- Twist and Fold Activity Gym- This Activity Gym is specially good for a baby who loves exploring by twisting and learning to enjoy tummy time.
Your baby will love it
The more you bring this into your daily routine, the more baby will get used to it and love it. Do it when you need to cook dinner, when you are reading a book, between feeds, and whenever baby wants to explore.