tummy time activities: how to make tummy time fun

Tummy time will be your baby’s first exercise! It’s a time for little one’s to physically develop and explore the world from a new point of view. Babies spend a lot of their time sleeping. As a result, they end up spending a lot of time on their backs. Tummy time activities help to even this out while promoting your baby’s neck and core strength.

when to start tummy time

While there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” timeline for starting, this is an activity parents can start right away! Having infants participate in tummy time activities is beneficial from just a couple days old.

tummy time activities for newborns

Many parents are left wondering what to do during tummy time to entertain their newborns. Here are some engaging activities perfect for babies up 6 weeks old:

tummy time activities for newborns

Many parents are left wondering what to do during tummy time to entertain their newborns. Here are some engaging activities perfect for babies up 6 weeks old:

baby laying on dream blanketbaby laying on dream blanket

laying on mummy

There are so many different ways to do tummy time, and this is a great way to ease your baby into it. Instead of laying them on a floor or activity mat, simply place them on your chest for tummy time. This is an opportunity for skin-to-skin contact which can help to keep your infant calm and happy.

baby reaching for bird toy on bonding playmatbaby reaching for bird toy on bonding playmat

airplane baby

If you’re wondering how to make tummy time fun for your newborn, this is a great way to mix it up! Again, to ease them into the position of being on their stomachs, cradle your baby with their tummy across your arms and go for a walk around the house.

baby doing tummy time on dream blanketbaby doing tummy time on dream blanket

using black & white books

As newborns, a baby’s developing eyes can only detect differences between black and white (not colour). Place a black and white book or picture 20-30 centimetres from your baby’s face to visually stimulate them and keep them entertained.

During this time, you should start to see your baby turning their head to the side and even attempting to lift their head! It might only be a second, but this is a big milestone that tummy time helps babies reach!

how much tummy time at one month

Infant tummy time activities can be brief, especially at this young of age. To start, we suggest doing tummy time 2-3 times a day for 3-5 minutes at a time or as long as your baby will tolerate it.

tummy time activities for 2 month old

At 2 months old, moving your baby’s tummy time activities to the floor of the living room or nursery is a natural transition. Make sure you create a safe and comfortable place for your baby using a soft blanket or activity mat. Here are some tummy time ideas to entertain your little one at this age:

Use a pillow. As babies continue to strengthen their neck muscles, it might be helpful to use a pillow to prop babies up at a 30 to 45 degree angle. This makes it a little easier for babies to lift their head and engage in tummy time activities. You can use a nursing pillow or even a rolled up towel to elevate them!

Wrist rattles or noise makers. At this age, wrist rattles or other noise makers serve as great entertainment if you’re wondering how to make tummy time fun. It also provides sensory stimulation as they begin to track the noises.

Get on their level. If parents are unsure what to do during tummy time other than supervise, we suggest getting down on their level! Lay down on your own tummy so that you are eye-to-eye with your baby. This is a great opportunity to bond with your little one through smiling, cooing, and eye contact.

Now your baby should be attempting to lift their head more and more, and even starting to attempt to tilt their head to one side

baby using a pillow to do tummy timebaby using a pillow to do tummy time
baby using a pillow to do tummy timebaby using a pillow to do tummy time

tummy time activities for 2 month old

At 2 months old, moving your baby’s tummy time activities to the floor of the living room or nursery is a natural transition. Make sure you create a safe and comfortable place for your baby using a soft blanket or activity mat. Here are some tummy time ideas to entertain your little one at this age:

Use a pillow. As babies continue to strengthen their neck muscles, it might be helpful to use a pillow to prop babies up at a 30 to 45 degree angle. This makes it a little easier for babies to lift their head and engage in tummy time activities. You can use a nursing pillow or even a rolled up towel to elevate them!

Wrist rattles or noise makers. At this age, wrist rattles or other noise makers serve as great entertainment if you’re wondering how to make tummy time fun. It also provides sensory stimulation as they begin to track the noises.

Get on their level. If parents are unsure what to do during tummy time other than supervise, we suggest getting down on their level! Lay down on your own tummy so that you are eye-to-eye with your baby. This is a great opportunity to bond with your little one through smiling, cooing, and eye contact.

Now your baby should be attempting to lift their head more and more, and even starting to attempt to tilt their head to one side

how much tummy time at 2 months

At this age, it is still okay to keep tummy time activities short. By 2 months, your goal should be for your baby to be able to go a full minute without getting too upset. Try this several times throughout the day. Of course, if your little one enjoys being on their stomach, go longer!

tummy time activities for 3 month old

tummy time activities for 3 month old

baby engaging with mirrorbaby engaging with mirror

At 3 months old, babies are just soaking in everything around them! Keep them entertained and stimulated with these tummy time ideas:

Activity mats. Baby gym activity mats provide instant entertainment during tummy time activities. By this age, your little one will be able to interact more with the different toys, lights, and sounds that may come with your activity mat.

Mirrors. One of the best tummy time activities for babies is to simply give them a mirror! Little ones are fascinated by faces, especially their own. It provides a great source of entertainment and distraction by simply propping up a mirror on the floor for them.

By this age, tummy time activities have helped infants start to gain some head control! You should start to see your little one lift their head 45 to 90 degrees without tilting to either side. Many infants around 3 months also begin to put weight on their arms with their elbows bent. This is already starting to prepare them to hit that major milestone of crawling!

how much tummy time at 3 month olds

At this age, tummy time should be getting longer. There is no magic number, but many believe spending a total of 1 hour (broken up throughout the day) is a great goal.

tummy time activities for 4 month old

• Pop up toys. If you’re curious how to make tummy time fun as your little one starts to wiggle around more, then pop up toys are the answer! Toys that “pop up” or that have other interactive features provide the visual and auditory stimulation to keep your little one entertained.

• Book wall. Propping up several bright and colourful board books in front of your baby is one of our favourite tummy time ideas. Not only are you providing something for your baby to focus on, but you are starting to expose them to books!

• Peek-a-boo. Getting down to be eye-level with your baby during tummy time activities is a good idea for any age. Now you can start adding peek-a-boo into the mix! This classic game is not only entertaining, but it helps to develop a continued bond with the parent or caregiver.

At this age, babies are starting to make leaps and bounds developmentally! Some major tummy time milestones at this age include:

• Lifting head up 90 degrees

• Keeping head centred

• Pushing up on forearms

• Bringing chest off the floor

• Lifting head and moving neck to track objects, voices, or faces

baby doing tummy time with pillow covered in cotton muslin swaddlebaby doing tummy time with pillow covered in cotton muslin swaddle
baby doing tummy time with pillow covered in cotton muslin swaddlebaby doing tummy time with pillow covered in cotton muslin swaddle

tummy time activities for 4 month old

• Pop up toys. If you’re curious how to make tummy time fun as your little one starts to wiggle around more, then pop up toys are the answer! Toys that “pop up” or that have other interactive features provide the visual and auditory stimulation to keep your little one entertained.

• Book wall. Propping up several bright and colorful board books in front of your baby is one of our favorite tummy time ideas. Not only are you providing something for your baby to focus on, but you are starting to expose them to books!

• Peek-a-boo. Getting down to be eye-level with your baby during tummy time activities is a good idea for any age. Now you can start adding peek-a-boo into the mix! This classic game is not only entertaining, but it helps to develop a continued bond with the parent or caregiver.

At this age, babies are starting to make leaps and bounds developmentally! Some major tummy time milestones at this age include:

• Lifting head up 90 degrees

• Keeping head centered

• Pushing up on forearms

• Bringing chest off the floor

• Lifting head and moving neck to track objects, voices, or faces

how much tummy time at 4 month olds

By now, the goal is for your infant to enjoy tummy time activities! There is no set time limit, but it is still encouraged to do several times a day.

tummy time activities for 5 month old

Even if your little one is able to lift their heads or push up on their arms, tummy time is still beneficial! They are still developing core muscles in preparation for other developmental milestones such as crawling or rolling.

tummy time activities for 5 month old

Even if your little one is able to lift their heads or push up on their arms, tummy time is still beneficial! They are still developing core muscles in preparation for other developmental milestones such as crawling or rolling.

sensory play

This can be done using a special water mat or you can easily make your own sensory bin with common household items! The goal is to provide a mixture of textures (such as sponges or wooden spoons) for your baby to explore during tummy time.

peek-a-boo

Still a classic! Peek-a-boo at this age is one of the easiest tummy time activities that encourages cognitive development. Now, your infant is at the age where they are starting to develop a sense of object permanence and continuing to strengthen their visual tracking. Playing peek-a-boo while they are on their stomachs is a great time to encourage this development!

By 5 months, you should see your little one start to push up on hands with straight elbows and continue to wow you with their head control and strength!

By 5 months, you should see your little one start to push up on hands with straight elbows and continue to wow you with their head control and strength!

baby engaging in sensory play with crinkle leaf on playmatbaby engaging in sensory play with crinkle leaf on playmat

how much tummy time at 5 month olds

Hopefully by now, your infant enjoys tummy time activities! Follow their lead on how long they want to play on their stomachs while still offering the activity several times a day.

tummy time activities for 6 month old

baby reaching for toy hanging from activity gymbaby reaching for toy hanging from activity gym

At 6 months, your little one is practically a tummy time pro. Here are some tummy time ideas for this age group:

Practice rolling. If your baby isn’t rolling yet, this is a great time to practice! Give your baby a little extra boost if they’re rocking to help them start to develop the motion and strength.

Toy reaching. This can also be a great tool for helping kids to roll! Put favourite toys just out of reach to give infants something to focus on during tummy time. It keeps them entertained while encouraging them to practice reaching.

Encourage their choices. At this age, it is more than okay to just encourage free play. Self-directed tummy time is one approach for parents curious how to make tummy time fun for their wiggly and exploring babies.

By now, your little one has most likely hit some more major milestones during tummy time activities. This might include:

• Reaching and grabbing toys of various sizes

• Pivoting in a circle while on stomach

• Rolling

• Attempting to army crawl or scoot on stomach

how much tummy time at 6 month olds

By now, many babies prefer to be on their stomachs. As they’ve strengthened the necessary muscles to push up, roll, and pivot, being on their tummy allows them more freedom to explore and move. Spend as much time as possible letting your 6 month old play on their stomach!

what to do if my baby hates tummy time

Despite it being an essential activity for a baby’s development, many little ones resist it. Some parents stress that their baby’s actively hate the activity. This is especially true early one when babies have not yet developed the muscles they need to lift their heads up. If your little one is struggling on their stomachs, here are some tummy time ideas to help:

• Make it part of your routine, such as after every diaper change or bath. This way your baby can come to expect tummy time.

• Avoid tummy time directly after a feeding. This can be uncomfortable for babies' tiny digestive systems.

• Doing short (even 30 seconds to a minute) yet frequent tummy time is more beneficial than none at all!

• Use a pillow or other prop to eliminate some of the strain on them.

When it comes to tummy time, there is no “perfect” way to do it. Explore different tummy time activities and positions to find what works best for you and your baby!

what to do if my baby hates tummy time

Despite it being an essential activity for a baby’s development, many little ones resist it. Some parents stress that their baby’s actively hate the activity. This is especially true early one when babies have not yet developed the muscles they need to lift their heads up. If your little one is struggling on their stomachs, here are some tummy time ideas to help:

• Make it part of your routine, such as after every diaper change or bath. This way your baby can come to expect tummy time.

• Avoid tummy time directly after a feeding. This can be uncomfortable for babies' tiny digestive systems.

• Doing short (even 30 seconds to a minute) yet frequent tummy time is more beneficial than none at all!

• Use a pillow or other prop to eliminate some of the strain on them.

When it comes to tummy time, there is no “perfect” way to do it. Explore different tummy time activities and positions to find what works best for you and your baby!