Want more ideas?
Lay your baby down on a firm, flat surface, like a play mat or blanket on the floor. Lay next to them. Sing songs, shake a rattle, or talk to encourage them to lift and turn their head.
Place toys like high contrast cards or a mirror nearby for your baby to gaze at during tummy time. As your baby gets older, add more toys all around them to encourage more movement.
Place your baby on your chest. This time chest to chest is an easy way to get in tummy time while bonding. Encourage them to look at you by talking to them.
Place your baby on the couch or even on top of an exercise ball, holding them securely as you sit in front of them. This allows you to be eye to eye with your baby and can add a fun element to tummy time!
While on the floor, add in a tummy time pillow or a rolled-up towel under their chest so that it’s easier for your baby to lift their head and push up. This allows your baby to look around and engage more freely.
Lay on your back with your knees in a table top position. Lay baby on your legs and then you can move them up and down, making it a fun game!
Place baby on your thighs facing outward and let them look around the room.
What are the best tummy time tips? #
1. Go slowly.#
Starting with 20-60 seconds is great in the beginning. You can work towards longer sessions by adding 1-2 minutes as your baby gets used to tummy time. If your baby gets upset or frustrated, try a new position or activity. If that doesn’t work, try again later. Adding just a bit of time each day can help your baby get more comfortable and help you find the tummy time activities they like best.
2. Practice a few times each day. #
You don’t have to get in all of your baby’s tummy time in one session or even in one wake window. It’s important to practice tummy time multiple times throughout the day.
3. Focus on tucking in their little arms. #
Keep those elbows right below the shoulders. Why? Babies’ heads are really heavy, and when the arms are sprawled out, there’s a lot of weight concentrated on those tiny neck muscles. When elbows are in, babies have the added help of their shoulder muscles too.
4. Try tummy time when your baby is already content. #
A content baby is much more likely to tolerate or even enjoy tummy time. For many babies that means tummy time is easier early in the wake window when they are rested. Knowing your baby is important too. For example, if you know that evenings are a hectic or fussy time, aim for tummy time earlier in the day. Finding the right time after a feeding can also be helpful to tummy time success. For those struggling with reflux or spitting up, waiting about 15-20 minutes after a feeding can make a big difference.
5. Keep things interesting. #
As your baby gets older, add toys around them to keep them stimulated and interested. You can even add in something like a tummy time mat. Encourage older siblings to help by laying on the floor next to baby (or go ahead and try this for yourself!). You might even try tummy time on a blanket outside on a nice day. Keeping things interesting helps make tummy time a fun experience.
6. Reserve tummy time for when baby is awake. #
Remember that tummy time and tummy sleep are two different things. While tummy time during awake time is important for your baby’s physical development, tummy sleep isn’t safe until babies can roll independently.
Just like with everything in these early months, be sure to offer yourself and your baby so much grace and patience during this time. Know that if you’re struggling with baby sleep, my First Five Months Bundle is here to help. I’ll walk you through setting your days and nights up for success as you lay a healthy sleep foundation with no crying involved. Let me show you how to meet your baby right where they are developmentally and love this stage.