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20 Tummy Time Activities to Try with Your Baby

Updated: May 10

Tummy time can be an excellent time for you and your loved ones to bond with your baby.

Try not to make tummy time a chore. If what you are doing isn't fun, here are some ideas to make it fun.

How to get your baby to like tummy time.

Even if your baby doesn't like tummy time, try these tips to ensure they still get this vital building block to help them along with their development. Babies start to enjoy tummy time more once they have more control. The key is to be patient. Every little one reaches different baby milestones at different times.

Here are a few ways to make tummy time more enjoyable:

Help your baby feel comfortable and secure.

Try to make tummy time as comfortable as possible.

Try a playmat or soft blanket if you have a hardwood floor. You can also put a rolled-up towel or blanket under your little one's chest for extra support.

Be sure your baby is fed, rested, and has a fresh diaper — all prerequisites for happy play!

Stay engaged with your baby.

Instead of walking away after setting them down, sit in front of them to smile and talk while they do their work.

You can sing their favorite song or read them a book. You're their cheerleader in life, including tummy time, and your encouragement can help them through this activity.

Whether they are on the floor or you, your interaction with them is always their favorite way to be engaged over any toy.

Provide entertainment

Toys and other safe items can go a long way in helping keep the baby engaged during tummy time.

Some tried-and-true favorites:

  • A baby-safe mirror

  • A black-and-white picture board

  • A musical toy

  • A colorful playmat

Some mats have prop-up toys or mirrors, and others are filled with water for more fun. Take your little one's socks off to provide more traction on the mat.

You can buy a tummy-time gym designed for babies to play with while on their belly. Some gyms have attached lights, mirrors, moving pictures, music, and squeaky toys.

Mix it up

You probably have one favorite spot on the living room rug you return to for tummy time.

But sometimes, changing the scenery can help – go outside, or give it a try while you're at the park or a friend's house. Let your baby know you're there by talking to them, tickling them, or stroking their hands.

Change locations — and the view from their tummy. Try the family room for a minute or two in the morning and your bedroom in the afternoon.

Reassure baby

Before you pick your little one up at the sound of their first tummy time cry, wait it out for 30 seconds and try to comfort them in other ways.

Make sure they know you're close to them by talking or singing to them, rubbing their head or back, and maintaining skin-to-skin contact.

Break up the time

Babies only need to do one or two minutes of tummy time at a time to start, and they can work up to longer sessions as they get older.

Don't put an infant on the floor for half an hour right out of the gate. You can do two-minute sessions, then three minutes, then five.

They never need to go longer than 10 minutes, even when they're older.

Every minute on their tummies helps their strength, and you can do these sessions multiple times a day, so they all add up to 15 or more minutes per day.

> Related: My baby hates Tummy Time (Ultimate Guide)