As a parent, you need to understand the importance of introducing tummy time activities to your baby to support their physical development.
Tummy time is an essential practice that not only engages your little one but also helps to strengthen their muscles as they grow.
To ensure a comfortable and delightful experience for your baby during these sessions, using a Tummy Time Pillow is highly recommended.
In this article, we will explore:
- what tummy time pillows and how to use them correctly
- the unique features of the tummy time pillow
- how to pick a proper tummy time pillow
- top 10 tummy time pillows to pick from
Understanding Tummy Time
To better understand the tummy time concept I recommend reading my in-depth article about the Top 25 Tummy Time Toys.
It’s already mentioned in detail what tummy time is, what are the goal and how should tummy time happen.
Still, I’ll drop below a summary about it, in case you are already familiar with the concept and you don’t need a deep dive.
Importance And Benefits Of Tummy Time
Tummy time is an essential activity for parents to implement right from the start as it aids in the development of crucial motor skills for infants.
Incorporating tummy time into your baby’s routine can offer several benefits, including:
- strengthening neck, shoulders, and upper body muscles
- preventing the risk of developing a flat head (positional plagiocephaly)
- encouraging gross motor skill development, such as rolling and crawling
- fostering visual and sensory exploration
Recommended Duration And Frequency
Experts recommend beginning tummy time as early as your baby’s first day home from the hospital.
Gradually increasing the duration and frequency of tummy time sessions is essential.
Here are some age-based guidelines to follow:
- Newborn to 3 months: Start with 3-5 minute sessions, 2-3 times a day
- 3-6 months: Aim for a minimum of 20 minutes per day, split into smaller sessions
- 6-9 months: Include tummy time in playtime and encourage independence on the floor
Remember to always supervise your baby during tummy time, and make adjustments as needed to fit your child’s individual needs and developmental milestones.
Tummy Time Pillows
What Is A Tummy Time Pillow?
A tummy time pillow is a specially designed support cushion that helps babies stay comfortable during tummy time exercises.
These activities are crucial for an infant’s physical development and muscle strength building, particularly for the neck, back, and shoulders.
Tummy time pillows are designed to support your baby’s neck, shoulders, and back muscles while providing a soft and cushioned surface.
The tummy time pillow for babies started from the tummy pillow for pregnancy concept, which moms may be more familiar with.
But in this case, they evolved fast and today offer a range of engaging features such as mirrors, squeaks, and attached toys to keep your baby entertained during their belly-down playtime.
Features And Functions Of A Tummy Time Pillow
- Support: Tummy time pillows provide proper support for a baby’s developing head and neck muscles.
- Comfort: These pillows create a cozy and comfortable surface for babies during their tummy time activities.
- Entertainment: Many tummy time pillows come with attached toys, engaging patterns, or mirrors to keep babies entertained and encourage them to spend more time on their tummies.
- Portability: They are generally lightweight and compact, allowing for easy travel and use at home or on the go.
- Growth Adaptability: Some tummy time pillows feature adjustable and detachable components to accommodate different stages of a baby’s development, such as the Infantino Prop-A-Pillar Tummy Time & Seated Support.
Is It Ok To Use A Pillow For Tummy Time?
This was the first question that came to my mind when I found the tummy time pillow.
After thorough research, I found expert advice confirming that using a tummy time pillow is generally safe and beneficial for babies.
However, it is critical to closely supervise your child during tummy time and ensure that the pillow is appropriately sized and positioned for their age and developmental stage.
Are Tummy Time Pillows Good?
Tummy time pillows can be a great choice for babies as they provide additional comfort and support during tummy time activities.
They can also help make tummy time more enjoyable for both parents and babies.
As long as your baby doesn’t have anything against it, a tummy time pillow is a very good tool to facilitate your baby’s tummy time.
- Most tummy time pillows behave like an activity center coming with other tummy time tools like tummy time mirrors, high contrast toys, teething toys, rattles, and more
- The aspect above makes them space and cost-efficient
- The concept is very mature and there are several options from renowned brands like Fisher-Price, VTech, Boppy, etc.
Does Tummy Time On A Pillow Count?
This was the question I got from my wife when asking her opinion if we should invest in a such tool.
Again, after deep research, I was able to asses that tummy time on a pillow does count towards the recommended daily tummy time duration.
Any type of time counts for the matter, even the one done on your belly.
It is important though to vary the activities and positions during tummy time to ensure an infant’s overall development, incorporating exercises with and without a pillow.
Selecting The Right Tummy Time Pillow
When selecting the right tummy time pillow for your baby, it is essential to consider several factors that will ensure comfort, safety, and engagement during tummy time.
- Comfort and Support: Choose a pillow that provides appropriate support to your baby’s head, neck, and shoulders. The pillow should be soft and comfortable while giving enough firmness for muscular development. Since we are mostly buying online, I suggest reading reviews from other parents to verify this aspect.
- Size and Shape: Pick a pillow designed explicitly for tummy time with features like a curved surface, helping your baby develop the necessary motor skills. The pillow’s size should also suit your baby’s age and size for the right support.
- Engaging Features: Look for pillows that offer engaging features such as toys or attachments to keep your baby entertained and focused during tummy time. From experience, the pillow itself is never enough.
- Materials and Cleanliness: Make sure to check that the pillow’s materials are safe, hypoallergenic, and easy to clean. A removable and washable cover can be a great feature to maintain a clean and hygienic tummy time environment.
- Portability: If you plan on taking your tummy time pillow on the go, look for a lightweight and compact option that can easily fit in your traveling kit.
- Safety: Safety certifications such as the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) seal or Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certification ensure an additional layer of safety.
- Durability: Your baby will put the pillow under intensive trial during tummy time, so it’s essential to choose a pillow that can withstand frequent washing and use. Read reviews from other parents to observe this aspect.
Taking these factors into account will help you select a suitable tummy time pillow for your baby.
This will ensure a comfortable and engaging experience that promotes healthy development.
Additionally, it will help you save money in the process.
How To Use A Tummy Time Pillow
How Does A Tummy Time Pillow Work?
A tummy time pillow is a specially designed pillow that helps support your baby during tummy time.
It elevates and supports the upper body, making it easier for babies to lift their heads, neck, and shoulders.
This allows them to gradually build strength and develop their gross motor skills while on their tummy.
Where To Place A Tummy Time Pillow?
It is essential to correctly position and place the tummy time pillow to ensure your baby’s safety and comfort.
When setting up a tummy time pillow for your baby, always choose a flat and safe surface, away from any edges where your baby may roll off.
Make sure there is enough space around the pillow for your baby to move and explore.
Ensure the pillow is not too high or too low, and your baby’s chest is supported, but not their face or chin.
How To Put A Baby On A Tummy Time Pillow?
- Lay your baby on their tummy, facing the pillow.
- Position the baby on the pillow so that their arms are in front of the pillow, and their chest is supported by the pillow.
- Make sure your baby’s chin is slightly elevated, allowing them to breathe easily.
- Keep a watchful eye on your baby during tummy time, and always be within arm-reach to offer encouragement and supervision.
Age Guidelines And Adjustments
You may introduce a tummy time pillow from birth, however, start with shorter sessions, around 10 to 15 minutes per day.
Gradually increase the duration as your baby gets stronger and more comfortable.
Make adjustments as your baby grows by using a larger pillow, or changing the angle of the pillow to optimize their comfort and safety during tummy time.
Troubleshooting Common Challenges
Fussy Babies During Tummy Time
It’s not uncommon for some babies to become fussy during tummy time.
No matter the toys or tools you will use or your dedication, this may happen so stay strong.
To make the experience more enjoyable for both you and your little one, you could try these tips:
- Start tummy time early in your baby’s life, so they can become accustomed to the position from a young age.
- Engage in face-to-face interaction during tummy time by lying down next to your baby or placing them on your chest or lap at the beginning.
- Introduce tummy time during your baby’s happiest times of the day, like after a diaper change or nap.
- Use other toys or mirrors to keep your baby interested and entertained.
- Gradually increase the duration of tummy time sessions, but be flexible to your baby’s needs – It’s okay if they can only manage shorter sessions (Dr. Matthew Badgett).
- Don’t overkill it. Less is more.
Safety And Precautions
Ensuring your baby’s safety during tummy time is essential.
Always observe the following safety measures:
- Never leave your baby unattended during tummy time.
- Choose a firm, flat surface, such as a play mat on the floor for tummy time, rather than soft surfaces like beds or sofas, which pose suffocation risks.
- Support your baby’s neck and head if they’re struggling to lift them during tummy time with the help of the tummy time pillow – especially during the early months when head control is still developing.
- Avoid placing your baby on their tummy immediately after feeding, as this may lead to discomfort or reflux.
- Remember that tummy time is just one of many positions and activities to help with your baby’s development. Encourage a variety of movements and play throughout the day.
Tummy Time Pillow Or Not?
Tummy Time Without A Pillow
Tummy time is an essential activity for your baby’s motor, visual, and sensory development.
It can be started as a newborn and continued throughout their first year (Pathways.org).
While tummy time pillows can be helpful, they are not a necessity for all babies.
Many babies can reap the benefits of tummy time without the use of a pillow.
When starting tummy time without a pillow, follow these simple steps:
- Lay your baby on a clean, flat surface, such as a play mat or a blanket.
- Make sure your baby is awake and alert.
- Supervise your baby at all times during tummy time.
- Engage your baby by interacting with them and providing toys for them to reach and explore.
Tummy Time With A Pillow
Remember that every baby is unique, and some babies may benefit from additional support during tummy time.
This includes babies with certain conditions, such as torticollis or plagiocephaly, who may need extra support in maintaining an appropriate head and neck position.
In these cases, a tummy time pillow could be helpful.
In conclusion, although tummy time pillows are an exceptional tool to help babies enjoy their tummy time experience, you can do without one.
Many babies can strengthen their muscles and develop important motor skills through regular tummy time sessions without the use of a pillow.
Observe your baby’s individual needs and preferences to determine what works best for them.
It’s up to you if you want to give the tummy time pillow a go or not.
To help you out with a decision, I’ve curated for you a list of the most appreciated tummy time pillows below.
The Best 10 Tummy Time Pillows On Amazon
VTech Tummy Time Discovery Pillow
- similar concept to Fisher Price’s Llama
- comes additionally with 50+ songs and noises
- has a light-up piano
- (-)not machine washable
Boppy Tummy Time Pillow
- a simple concept from a renowned brand for pregnancy pillows
- comes with a crinkle toy and a teether that are detachable
- non-toxic according to a CPSC-accredited lab
- (+)machine washable
Baby Einstein Tummy Time Pillow
- another pillar concept pillow but with better quality
- comes with various tummy time toys: rattle, teether, crinkle toy, etc.
- a couple of peek-a-boo features
- (-)not machine washable
Taf Toys Baby Tummy Time Pillow
- award-winning simple concept
- comes additionally with a detachable teether and rattle
- same concept but another design from another supplier
- (+)machine washable w/o the toys
Nuby Time Time Pillow
- cool pillar concept tummy time pillow
- comes with two soft toys, a rattle, a teether, and a mirror
- toys are NOT detachable
- (-)not machine washable
teytoy Tummy Time Pillow
- a double-sided (black & white on one, colored on the other) time tummy pillow
- comes with various tummy time toys: mirror, high contrast images, teether, etc.
- another black & white tummy time pillow from Taf Toys
- (+)machine washable
In summary, tummy time toys and tools play a crucial role in supporting your baby’s physical development and providing a comfortable, safe environment for them to explore and exercise.
Not only do they help your little one strengthen their neck, shoulder, and back muscles, but they also provide vital sensory experiences and facilitate bonding with parents.
A tummy time pillow is one of these tools and it can bring a great benefit for both you and your baby.
Incorporating various tummy time positions and using quality pillows can enhance your baby’s overall experience and help them reach important developmental milestones.
Remember always to follow safety guidelines when using tummy time pillows and to supervise your baby closely.
But don’t forget to enjoy these precious moments together.
Looking forward to your feedback regarding your experience with the tummy time pillow so please drop a comment (or more) below.
Until next time, I wish you good health, and may the best decisions nest in your mind.