It’s important for your baby to spend time on his tummy when he’s awake to strengthen the muscles that will eventually help him to push himself up and crawl. Tummy time is also important to develop your little one’s shoulder muscles and neck muscles.
In the beginning, when he’s still a newborn, most of his tummy time will most likely take place on your chest – but as he gets bigger and gains more control over his neck muscles, it’s important to let him play on his tummy on the floor for about 10 minutes every day.
Make tummy time more fun with these great toys:
Tummy Time Water Baby Play Mat, R196, takealot.com
This Tummy Time mat includes eye-catching graphics and six brightly coloured inner floating toys to keep your little one entertained. It’s super easy to set up, simply fill the outer ring with air and the inner mat with your desired amount of water, set on the floor and let the fun begin!
Tummy Time Climb Pillow, R339, takealot.com
This pillow is great because it gives your little one that extra prop-up support to help him strengthen his neck, upper arm and chest muscles. He won’t even know he’s on his tummy for 10 minutes because he’ll be too busy playing with all the fun toys attached to the pillow.
Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play, R575, takealot.com
Who wouldn’t want to spend time on this cuddly bear? Your little one will love gazing at herself in the mirror and playing with the other toys attached to the bear mat’s paws and ears.
Fisher-Price Monkey Mirror Rattle, R249, thekidzone.co.za
We love how portable this toy is, simply fold it up in put it in your nappy bag when you’re heading out to see family or friends. Your little one will love watching the squeaky monkey face and playing with all the jingly and crinkly toys attached to the mirror.
Galt Toys Smiley Sun Mirror, R415, takealot.com
You can use this mirror for both tummy time or in your baby’s cot. He’ll love looking at himself in the mirror and touching the different textured toys attached to the mirror. This toy was awarded ‘Recommended’ status by the Good Toy Guide.
Fisher-Price Mini Musicians Piano Wedge, Tummy Time Baby Toy, R639, thekidzone.co.za
The soft pillow will keep your little one comfortable and help strengthen his core and neck muscles while he explores the soft piano and other toys attached to it. The piano can be removed from the pillow and plays up to 10 minutes of music and lights. Sounds include long play, silly animal sounds and real piano notes.
Chicco Move n Grow Animal Time Tummy Pillow, R399, thekidzone.co.za
This pillow is ideal for small babies who are still developing their neck muscles to lift their heads. You little one can comfortable spend time on his tummy while playing with all the fun toys attached to the pillow.
Fisher-Price Play & Crawl Hedgehog Mirror, Tummy Time & Crawling Toy, R449, thekidzone.co.za
We love that this toy can be used later when your little one learns to crawl. Not only will your little one love spending time on his tummy looking into the friendly mirror face of the hedgehog, this toy is also great for his fine motor skills. The rattle sounds and soft textures of the toys will help develop his visual, auditory and tactile senses. When you think baby is about to crawl, simply give the hedgehog a little push and see if it motivates your little one to get up on all fours and follow the toy.
Yookidoo Gymotion Activity Playland, R1 549, Clicks
If you are looking for toys with multiple purposes and that can be used for most of your baby’s first two years, this is a great investment. This fantasy jungle lets your baby play on his tummy, on his back and later he can even sit and play. You can even use it as a picnic blanket when he’s a toddler.
Yookidoo Discovery Play Mat, R829, takealot.com and Baby City
We love this colourful play mat that’s great for tummy time, moving around or sit-up play. The spinning, squeezing and clicking flowers are great to encourage your baby’s fine motor skills, while the scrunchy petals will help develop tactile abilities.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.