You’ve heard the term and you probably believe you already know what tummy time toys are.
How do I know?
Because I was you until I got slapped in the face by the research I did “just to be sure I am on the right path“.
Tummy time toys are not something you just throw on the floor and forget about it.
Tummy time is an incredibly important period of every baby’s development.
This crucial period helps babies explore the world around them, build strength, and develop essential coordination and motor skills.
Tummy time toys are an essential tool in this process.
By choosing the right tummy time toys, you can help to maximize your baby’s potential and give them a fun and stimulating experience.
To understand what I mean by the right “tools”, imagine yourself in a boat taking water and you trying to keep it from sinking with a…spoon.
Tummy time mats, activity centers, rattles, high contrast toys, there is a variety of options to help your baby’s tummy time be effective and engaging.
The biggest challenge with so many options available is to know what types of activities and features make the best tummy time toys for your little one.
This article is entirely dedicated to the very purpose.
Skip this ultimate list of tummy-time toys and you will regret it!
Why Is Tummy Time Important For Babies?
Tummy time is important for the babies’ overall development because:
- it helps strengthen the muscles in their neck and shoulders
- helps them develop coordination and control
- it prepares them for crawling, standing, and other activities
- reduces the risk of “flat head” syndrome or torticollis
- promotes better development of motor and visual skills
- and more
Tummy time toys can help babies stay engaged during tummy time, making it more enjoyable for them.
When Should A Baby Start Tummy Time?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), tummy time should begin shortly after your baby is born.
Remember always to supervise your baby and place your little one on a safe, firm surface.
Starting tummy time too late can make it more difficult for the baby’s physical and cognitive development.
How Long Should Tummy Time Be?
Although there are multiple variants on the internet and in books, there is no exact science behind it, only recommendations.
Additionally, AAP recommends starting with just a few minutes of tummy time and gradually increasing the amount of time your baby spends on their stomach.
In the same study (mentioned above), AAP also states that spending more than 30 minutes in tummy time was associated with greater development of the baby’s motor skills.
The time spent on the tummy will depend on your baby’s ability and comfort level.
As the baby grows and can hold their head up and move their arms and legs, they may eventually be able to tolerate longer periods of tummy time.
Tummy time can be done several times throughout the day even in short bursts to help gradually build the baby’s strength.
I started with Anastasia on my chest for the first week and she had so much fun playing with my beard and my eyes.
Can Tummy Time Be Dangerous?
Yes, tummy time can become dangerous in certain situations.
Your baby must have a supervised tummy time to ensure he/she is comfortable and safe.
Tummy time should only be done on a safe, flat surface (your chest counts also) and never on an elevated surface or with any extra padding.
It is important to remember that babies can get tired quickly, so be sure to keep a close eye on your little one, and stop the activity if they seem tired or uncomfortable.
Additionally, it is important to be aware of the signs of suffocation (also mind the tummy time toys) and position your baby in a way that will ensure their safety.
Key Features For The Perfect Tummy Time Toys
When picking a toy for tummy time, you should consider the following features:
- tactile, visual, and auditory stimulation
- plenty of space for the baby to move
- secure base and construction for safety
- engaging and stimulating toys and activities
- favor the “more-in-one” tummy time toys
How To Engage Babies During Tummy Time?
To keep babies interested in tummy time, it is important to provide interesting tummy time toys and activities.
Mirrors, balls, high-contrast cards, and rattles are great toys to keep their attention, as well as provide plenty of sensory stimulation.
Reading stories and singing songs can also help engage your baby during tummy time.
It can also help to create a game out of tummy time, like “challenging” them to try and reach a certain toy while they are on their tummy.
And the answer to this question leads us to the main purpose of this article, to discover the top tummy time toys that can help you entertain your baby during this important process in their life.
(Most Important) 25 Tummy Time Toys
- 1. Play Gyms (Activity Centers)
- 2. Play Mats (Tummy Time Mats)
- 3. Tummy Time Mirrors
- 4. Rattles
- 5. High Contrast Flash Cards
- 6. Tummy Time Pillows
- 7. Teething Toys
- 8. Baby Mobiles
- 9. Tummy Time Balls
- 10. Seated Support (Prop-a-Pillar)
- 11. Pull String Activity Toys
- 12. Montessori Spinning Drum
- 13. Crawl-Along Toys
- 14. Wobblers
- 15. Sensory Tissue Boxes
- 16. Soft (Crinkle) Books (Sensory Books)
- 17. Tummy Time Water Mats
- 18. Soft Blocks
- 19. Animated Plush Toys
- 20. Fidget Toys
- 21. Soothing Toys
- 22. Musical Toys
- 23. Lights Up Toys
- 24. High Contrast Board Books
- 25. Tummy Time Rollers
Tummy time can seem intimidating to babies and parents alike.
Tummy time toys are the main tool to help engage and entertain your baby during this important developmental stage.
Using the right type of toys can make tummy time enjoyable for babies and help them reach milestones at a faster rate.
The key is to find the right mix of toys that work best for your baby, as every baby is different.
Aim for toys that contain multiple features, such as mirrors, rattles, colors, and textures to keep your baby interested and provide them with the best foundation for their development.
And save yourself some money in the process.
1. Play Gyms (Activity Centers)
Play Gyms provide babies with an interactive activity playground.
They usually come with hanging toys, mirrors, and textured pads to keep babies entertained.
If you haven’t already, please read my honest review of what I believe is the best quality play gym out there, The Lovevery Play Gym.
2. Play Mats (Tummy Time Mats)
They should provide babies with plenty of space to explore and are designed to cushion the baby’s head and body while on the floor.
Some options provide visual and tactile stimulation, as well as a secure surface for tummy time.
These mats can be placed anywhere, making them an excellent choice for tummy time play in combination with other toys.
The review about the safest baby tummy time mats is waiting for you.
3. Tummy Time Mirrors
Mirrors can help babies become familiar with their own reflections and encourage them to move as they explore their own reflections.
Its purpose is to help babies with their gross motor skills and sense of coordination. It also encourages them to lift and move their heads.
The rattle is probably the first tummy-time toy ever invented and present in all countries and cultures.
Rattles come in all types of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Some can even be clipped onto the baby’s clothing or toys.
Babies can explore their senses as they shake and move the rattle.
5. High Contrast Flash Cards
High-contrast flashcards are the ideal starting point for helping babies begin to focus.
The high-contrast patterns create an interesting and stimulating environment.
Use the cards during tummy time or while the baby is sitting on your lap.
6. Tummy Time Pillows
Tummy time pillows are designed to help support your baby’s head, neck, and upper body while they are doing tummy time.
These pillows provide cushioning, allowing babies to lie on their bellies comfortably and safely.
The best options are the ones that behave as an activity center.
7. Teething Toys
Teething toys come today in various shapes and materials, such as silicone, cotton, wood, etc.
These tummy time toys are great for soothing sore gums and helping babies build their neck and head muscles during tummy time.
Aim for BPA-free, PVC-free toys.
8. Baby Mobiles
Mobiles are great tummy time toys to engage babies during tummy time.
They can also practice tracking skills as they follow the movement of the mobile with their eyes.
Some mobiles also play music or soothing sounds to help calm the baby.
9. Tummy Time Balls
Balls are great for babies to kick and chase during tummy time.
They stimulate the baby’s senses while helping them to practice gripping, reaching, and crawling skills.
Same as most tummy time toys, there is a huge number of models and shapes.
10. Seated Support (Prop-a-Pillar)
Seated supports are multi-functional chair-like devices.
They can help babies who are having difficulty in tummy time or don’t enjoy it.
A seated support can help them develop their trunk muscles in a seated position.
11. Pull String Activity Toys
These types of tummy time toys can help stimulate the baby’s motor skills as well as their sense of cause and effect.
Pull string ropes provide babies with a fun way to practice the coordination needed to reach and pull the string.
12. Montessori Spinning Drum
One of the best tummy time toys to help babies learn to reach and grab items during tummy time.
This toy is usually placed on a flat surface and allows babies to spin it back and forth while they use their hands, arms, and legs to reach and touch it.
13. Crawl-Along Toys
Crawl-along toys are great tummy time toys for helping babies practice their crawling and reaching skills.
They are designed to move along with the baby as they push or pull it and come in various sizes and shapes (cylinders, baby animals, etc.).
Wobblers are designed to encourage the development of gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination in babies.
These tummy time toys have weighted bases and are designed to wobble and rock back and forth, thus keeping babies engaged.
15. Sensory Tissue Boxes
The perfect tummy time toys for helping babies to reach and grab toys while strengthening their neck and shoulder muscles.
It also allows them to explore their sense of touch as they feel the different textures of the fabric.
16. Soft (Crinkle) Books (Sensory Books)
The soft books are designed to help babies explore their senses and develop their language, motor, and cognitive skills.
These tummy time toys are usually made of soft, crinkly fabric, and often contain bright colors, textures, and sounds that can help keep babies engaged and entertained while they learn.
17. Tummy Time Water Mats
Water mats provide a unique experience for babies.
These tummy time toys are great for babies to develop their sensory and motor skills, and can also provide an opportunity for them to practice problem-solving and independent play.
18. Soft Blocks
Soft blocks come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, which engage babies by stimulating their senses.
These tummy time toys are designed to stimulate the imagination and sensory development, and also create an opportunity for learning.
19. Animated Plush Toys
Animated plush toys are stuffed animals that feature activities and gadgets designed to keep children engaged in play.
Although hard to imagine, these tummy time toys are recognized globally by parents to be the most engaging during tummy time.
They can include features such as sound, music, and lights accompanied by games(e.g peek-a-boo).
They are typically soft and huggable, making them very attractive to babies.
20. Fidget Toys
Fidget toys for babies are small toys designed to help babies develop fine motor skills and sensory pathways.
They can come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and can keep your baby’s attention and stimulate their imagination.
21. Soothing Toys
Soothing toys such as stuffed animals or plush toys can help comfort babies and keep them engaged during tummy time.
These tummy time toys can help babies relax and focus while providing a stimulating and enjoyable experience.
They can come in handy also when you’re trying to put the baby to sleep.
22. Musical Toys
Musical toys aim to help your baby learn and explore music.
The range here is potentially unlimited, thus becoming a matter of personal preference.
These tummy time toys are designed to help babies develop their auditory and visual skills while providing an educational and enjoyable experience.
23. Lights Up Toys
Generally, these tummy time toys go hand-in-hand with the musical ones.
The main focus is to teach your baby the cause-and-effect concept (press a button, the button lights up and makes a noise, or starts singing).
The range here is also potentially unlimited, the only thing you need is patience.
These toys are designed to also help babies develop their visual skills while providing an enjoyable experience.
24. High Contrast Board Books
Although not tummy time toys per se, these books feature high-contrast patterns, shapes, and illustrations that are easier for younger eyes to see and process.
Board books are also more durable than regular books and usually, have rounded corners, making them safer for babies to use.
They are based on the same concept as high-contrast flash cards but also a short story behind images that can be used during tummy time or nap time.
25. Tummy Time Rollers
Originating from the Montessori classic rolling bell rattle, these tummy time toys evolved a lot in the past years.
The rollers are a great way to help babies develop their gross motor skills while providing a lot of fun.
They will offer your baby the chance to practice crawling, reaching, and grabbing.
The ones having items inside (e.g. bells) create sounds to further engage their senses.
Tummy time is the perfect way to help babies strengthen and practice important developmental skills and we enjoyed it so much.
Therefore, I am excited I went through this major topic again with you.
I am sure you now have a clear understanding of the tummy time’s importance.
No doubt that from the 25 types of tummy time toys listed above you will find something fit for your young one.
As you learned now, there is a variety of stimulating toys and activities that can be used to help your baby during tummy time.
Now it’s up to you to find the right ones.
I am confident you’ll overcome any challenges, and as always, I am here to help as much as I can.
Tummy Time Toys Picking Is Overwhelming
I get it, the entire process can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have help.
Don’t freak out, I have the perfect solution that worked like a charm for us and hundreds of thousands of other parents.
If you ever wondered why my first blog post was about the Lovevery Play Kits, now you know.
They literally saved our life during the pandemic and you can read all about it in the Lovevery Play Kits article.
In the first year’s kits, Lovevery is bringing you most of the tummy time toys listed above AND a fancy user manual on how to use them.
End of the story.
Almost… there is one more for you.
From Lovevery you can also grab what we believe is the best Play Gym on the market:
- 5 developmental zones
- wooden arches
- machine washable
- hanging toys
- Montessori inspired
- and many more
Find everything you need to know inside the Lovevery Play Gym article.
Now we are done with this one.
Nonetheless, I am looking forward to your feedback regarding your experience with the tummy time and tummy time toys 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.