10 Tummy Time Toys Your Baby Will Love! | Paper Pinecone

Search for the best preschool and daycare programs in your area on Paper Pinecone.

10 Tummy Time Toys Your Baby Will Love!

Published Date: 05/10/24

In this article:

What is tummy time?

Why is tummy time important?

When should my newborn start tummy time?

How can I get my baby to like tummy time?

How long should tummy time last?

Our picks for the best tummy time toys

Congrats on the little bundle of joy. Who would have thought that you could fall in love the minute you set your eyes on someone and love them so much that you would do anything for them? As exciting as this phase is, we understand it is filled with many questions, doubts, and fears. You want to do everything that is right for them and give them the world. But how do you do that? How can you ensure they get everything they want and feel loved? Well, first, your little one only needs your love and attention, and maybe a little exercise to help them settle in life outside the womb.

One way to give their tiny bodies a workout that helps them stretch and relax while they play and have fun is to give them some tummy time. But what is tummy time, and how do you do it? Read on to find out!

Related content: Tips for Increasing Breastmilk Supply

What is Tummy Time?

Your newborn spends most of its time napping and on its back, which reduces its ability to develop well. One way to ensure that it has strong neck, trunk, and shoulder muscles is to let it lie on its tummy every day for a few minutes. But make sure that this time is fully supervised. The baby is wide awake, and in the mood to play to prevent accidents.

Why Is Tummy Time Important?

Babies that do not get ample tummy time tend to have weaker neck muscles and lack upper body strength. And did you know that getting ample tummy time reduces your baby's risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)?

  • Reduces Plagiocephaly (flat head) risks

  • Increases Spatial Awareness

  • Strengthens Core Muscles

  • Improves Hand-Eye Coordination

  • Reduces Gas

  • Improves Sleep

Note, however, that while tummy time is important, keeping your baby on their stomach for the majority of the day isn’t beneficial.

“What’s most important is that kids be in a variety of positions during the day,” said Dr. Jill Heathcock, Ph.D., Director of the infant Lab at Ohio State University.

How Does Tummy Time Benefit My Baby?

When Should You Start Tummy Time?

You can let your baby lie on their stomachs for a few minutes every day from the day they are born. As your baby grows older, you could increase this duration gradually and let them engage in free play. For instance, your newborn's tummy time could last for 5 minutes (three times a day) and gradually be increased to 20 minutes as they grow older. You can continue giving your baby tummy time until they start crawling, which is usually around the time they are seven to nine months old.

Related content: Why Your Baby Cries When You Put Her Down

What if My Baby Hates Tummy Time?

Tummy time can be challenging if your little one resists it a lot. But remember, slowly and eventually, they will get used to it and enjoy it. All you have to do is be persistent and find ways to engage with them. Tummy time can be great for bonding, especially when focusing on serve and return interactions.  Here are a few tips to introduce tummy time to your baby.

Tummy Time Tips

  • Don't force it! If your baby is miserable, end the session and try again later.

  • Start with short sessions

  • Lay out a mat or a blanket

  • Plan tummy time for when your baby is typically in a good mood, like after a nap or feeding

  • Keep their favorite toy at eye level

  • Play songs and music, and talk to them to encourage interactions.

  • Try it on your chest instead of on the floor

At what age should tummy time start?

You can begin tummy time as soon as your little one is born. Your newborn can be placed on its stomach when it is active for 3 to 5 minutes, two to three times a day. As the baby grows older (1-2 months old), you could increase the duration by a minute.

How Long Should Tummy Time Last?

By the time your little one is around 4 months old, she should be able to spend around 45 minutes to one and a half hours on their tummy - this is the stage where most babies roll over.

You can be sure to see your baby enjoying tummy time more as they learn how to roll over on their back when you leave them on their tummy. Around 6 months of age, your baby's tummy time could be anywhere from an hour to two.

But don't let your baby stay on its tummy for long. Give them ample breaks and pace out the activity throughout the day.

How Can I Get My Baby to Like Tummy Time?

While many babies enjoy tummy time, some may get upset. Here are a few ways to make tummy time fun for those little munchkins who hate seeing the world from a different perspective.

Tips for Happy Tummy Time!

  • Lie down on your tummy and enjoy some tummy time with your little one.

  • Let them lie on your chest (it still counts as tummy time as long as they are on their tummy, even if it's on you instead of on a playmat)

  • Experiment with  engaging tummy time activities like a texture book, mirror, a play mat, etc. (read on further for a whole list of Tummy Time Toys for Newborns)

  • Narrate everything your baby can see while they are on their tummy (besides making tummy time interesting, it also improves their vocabulary by introducing them to new words).

  • Try tummy time in a new place every day (gets them to explore the house from a whole new perspective and keeps them looking forward to having tummy time).
  • If you have pets around, you can use this time for baby-pet bonding as well. But make sure it is supervised and that your pet is child-safe and wouldn't hurt the baby.

Our Picks for the Best Tummy Time Toys

Lovvie & Joy 2-in-1 Tummy Time Mat & Seated Support Pillow

Best for: Newborns

Why we love it: High contrast black and white stimulates the development of the optic nerve. Plus, multiple configurations means it grows with your child.

Your newborn longs for the warmth and comfort of the womb. They remain calm as long as they get the same warmth and comfort. Also, your little one's neck muscles are still developing and trying hard to support the weight of their head. So, you need to get them a pillow that helps them do this without straining their muscles.

The Lovvie & Joy 2-in-1 Tummy Time Mat & Seated Support Pillow provides comfort and support. It comes with a detachable neck support pillow, fastening hook and loop, and pillow mat, so your baby will enjoy a relaxed and comfortable tummy time.

However, the best part of this tummy time mat is that it can accommodate your little one from birth until they turn 3 years old. Depending on your little one's requirements, you can use it as a C-shaped pillow, a tummy time pillow, or a baby chair.

Buy Now: https://amzn.to/3SRmgy2

Baby Einstein Flip For Art High Contrast Floor Activity Mirror

Best for: Tummy time on the go

Why we love it: Includes several tummy time activities but remains compact and portable

Newborns cannot see color. Their eyes perceive objects that are of high contrast better. So, the best way to engage your little one is by giving them objects that are easy to perceive during tummy time. For instance, the Baby Einstein Flip For Art High Contrast Floor Activity Mirror has numerous high-contrast patterns that the baby will find intriguing. It also has a mirror, which is said to improve their visual senses, keep them entertained, improve their speaking ability, and strengthen their facial muscles.

As your baby enjoys tummy time, you can either flip the pages of this book for them or let them experiment with it on their own. You could unleash your creativity to tell stories about the various images in these picture books. Besides keeping your little one engaged, this would also help you bond with your baby and enhance their vocabulary.

Buy Now: https://amzn.to/3GixQL3

Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin' Tunes Music and Language Play Gym and Piano gym Tummy Time Activity Mat -

Best for: Long-term use

Why we love it: As your child grows, they can engage with the activities in different ways 

If you have a fussy baby who hates tummy time, you might be worrying about them missing out on the benefits of this activity. How could you keep them entertained and enjoy their daily tummy time? You have lied on your tummy, too, told them engaging stories, did some sing-along, and given them toys to play with, but they are unsure what they want. Does this sound familiar? Well, you are not alone. Thousands of parents are facing the same challenge globally, so we have the Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin' Tunes Music and Language Play Gym and Piano Tummy Time Activity Mat.

Besides a tummy time pillow and a colorful playmat, it has numerous flashcards, a self-discovery mirror, a crinkle medallion, a piano toy, a triangle rattle, and a BPA-free textured music note. Yes, this mat has over 70 sounds and activities to entertain your baby all day. As they experiment with different playmat features daily, they would start looking forward to tummy time every day!

Buy Now: https://amzn.to/3Gdzo9c

Infantino 2-in-1 Tummy Time & Seated Support

Best For: New Borns to 2-Year-Olds

Why We Love It: The design helps newborns to hold their heads up during tummy time. This strengthens their neck and back muscles, which are crucial for future milestones like rolling and crawling.

The soft padding and supportive cushions provide a comfortable tummy time for your baby. The detachable toys will keep them engaged and entertained while improving their visual tracking and hand-eye coordination. Besides that, the Detachable Support Pillow lets you use this pillow even as your baby grows into a toddler and can be their makeshift chair. 

Buy Now: https://a.co/d/dLJhgnJ


The Peanut shell Montessori Water Play Mat, Inflatable Tummy Time Mat & Sensory Development, High Contrast Baby Toy


Best For: New Borns

Why We Love It: The squishy cool water mat with floating shapes is great for your baby's sensory development.

Newborns best perceive high-contrast colors, so your baby will love the black-and-white graphics with pops of color. They can see best in high contrast, and the bright colors will become more engaging as their vision develops. The water in the mat creates a gentle resistance when your baby pushes up, strengthening their neck, back, and shoulder muscles. 

Buy Now: https://a.co/d/591QraF

VTech Tummy Time Discovery Pillow



Best For: New Born

Why We Love It: The crescent shape of the pillow is necessary for your baby's comfortable tummy time and helps them prop up their heads. This is crucial for strengthening their neck and back muscles. So, its comfort and functionality make us love this product!

VTech Tummy Time Discovery Pillow is great for newborns as it focuses on tummy time development and sensory exploration. You can use this pillow even beyond the newborn stage. The removable toys are a great way to engage on-the-go play in older babies.

Buy Now: https://a.co/d/0nfg2nE

Melissa & Doug Flip Fish Soft Baby Toy - Tummy Time Sensory Toy with Taggies for Infants


Best For: Infants
Why We Love It: This fun and versatile toy will stimulate your baby's senses and promote development.

The bright colors, bold facial features, and the hidden pictures under the scales will intrigue your baby. The soft, crinkly textures will stimulate sensory experience while keeping them entertained for hours. All the grasping and squeezing of the toy strengthen finger and hand muscles. This toy is machine washable, making it easy to clean and maintain.

Buy Now: https://a.co/d/dWlY03Z


Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Musical Activity Station and Tummy Time Toy, Age 3 months+

Best For: Baby’s over 3 months old

Why We Love It: The toy can introduce basic concepts like colors, animal sounds, and music. It has different modes for tummy time and sitting play, thus adapting to your baby's developmental needs. 

The Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Activity Station is a fun and stimulating toy for babies. The light-up bar and musical melodies visually and aurally stimulate your baby. The buttons, rattle drum, and different textures help your baby develop hand-eye coordination. 

Buy Now: https://a.co/d/gyeknbz

Control future Crawling Crab Baby Toy - Infant Tummy Time Toys 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Babies Boy 3-6 6-12 Learning Crawl 9-12 12-18 Walking Toddler 36 Months Old Music Development 1st Birthday Gifts

Best For: 3 to 18 Months

Why We Love It: The Control Future Crawling Crab Toy has bright lights, catchy tunes, and playful movements. This keeps babies entertained while promoting crawling and walking. 

The crab toy's vibrant colors and flashing lights will capture your baby's attention. It will encourage them to lift their heads and strengthen their neck muscles. Besides that, the crab's unique sideways movement will encourage your child to move and chase the crab, thus encouraging them to start crawling. 

Made with child-safe materials, this can be a great addition to your baby's toys from the time they are three months old and a great companion until they are almost two. 

Buy Now: https://a.co/d/apQUJvz

Taf Toys Mini Moon Take-to-Play Baby Activity Gym Plus The Sweet Dreams Mini Moon Crib Mobile with Soothing Music and Lights

Best For: New Born

Why We Love It: The Taf Toys Mini Moon Take-to-Play Gym and Sweet Dreams Crib Mobile combo is a delightful toy for your baby at home and on the go. 

The colorful hanging toys encourage grabbing, reaching, and exploration, fostering essential gross and fine motor skills. The gym is also easy to fold and carry around, while the clips make it easy to attach it to car seats, strollers, or cribs. Thus, it is a baby item you can carry everywhere with ease. 

The gentle classical melodies and a shushing sound create a calming atmosphere, helping your baby relax and drift off to sleep peacefully. The soft, colorful lights add a touch of magic to bedtime. 

Buy Now: https://a.co/d/hGxG10g

Tummy Time Worries? You’re Not Alone! Here Are Some Commonly Asked Questions by Mothers About Tummy Time

Tummy time seems like a simple job: all you have to do is place your child on a flat surface, on their stomach. But not every baby loves it from the start. As a new parent, you naturally have many questions and wonder why your child isn't enjoying tummy time. Do not worry; you are not alone. Here are a few questions a lot of new parents have about tummy time and how you can address those.

What Do I Do if My Baby Gets Frustrated During Tummy Time?

Focus on serving and returning interactions, introducing toys, singing songs, and making tummy time as engaging and interesting as possible. It’s not uncommon for infants to protest tummy time early on, but most grow to love it as they develop strength and learn new skills.

My Baby Hates the Playmat, How Can I Practice Tummy Time?

Letting your baby lie on your chest is a form of  tummy time and can be done while promoting skin-to-skin. This is a great way to bond with a newborn while getting them accustomed to tummy time. 

What's The Best Time for Tummy Time?

Wake windows are short for newborns so just pick a time when your baby is in a good mood. This is often right after a nap, feeding, or diaper change.  Is It OK if My Baby Falls Asleep On Her tummy?

No! Sleeping on their stomach significantly increases the risk of  SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in newborns. Make sure to place them on their back when they fall asleep until they are a year old.. 

Can We Use Baby Chairs, Swings, Baby Carriers, And Car Seats For Tummy Time?

No. Tummy time is meant to be enjoyed on a flat surface where your baby gets the firm support they need for strengthening their neck muscles. 

Are Toys Mandatory for Tummy Time?

While no hard and fast rule says that your child should be given a certain set of toys to play with during tummy time, having toys can help. Your baby will have something to look forward to, engage with, and improve their vision, language, and motor skills if they have toys that engage them.

Besides that, it also gives you a break to do other things. For instance, you can get a few things done, like folding laundry while they are interacting with their tummy time toys. But remember, tummy time should always be supervised, so make sure you or another adult carefully monitors your child while your little one is on her tummy.

At What Age Can I Stop Tummy Time?

Once babies start crawling, they’ll no longer need scheduled tummy time to develop strength and coordination. They’ll get plenty cruising around the house on their own!

We hope you found this blog useful and engaging. If you know a new parent who would benefit from the tips, toys, and techniques shared in this blog to promote healthy tummy time, don't forget to share it with them. Make sure to check our other parenting blogs. We know you would love them too. Happy parenting!


Paper Pinecone is the #1 most trusted childcare directory giving parents access to the best preschools and best daycares near you. Parents always search free and childcare providers always list free. Send inquiries about the best daycares and preschools to [email protected].

This post contains affiliate links.