5 Best Tummy Time Pillows [2022 Parents Guide]

5 Best Tummy Time Pillows [2022 Parents Guide] - The Dingle Dangle

When my paediatrician suggested we start doing tummy time every day with our newborn baby, I thought it would be fun mummy-daughter interaction time. 

However, my little Angel had other plans as the moment I placed my daughter on her stomach she burst into tears (sound familiar?) 

tummy time baby

I explained the challenge to my paediatrician who suggested that I look into tummy time pillows. She said that tummy time pillows can make tummy time more pleasant and fun for my baby. 

I started researching tummy time pillows and found a few I liked. After purchasing one that had great online reviews, I gave it a go. 

Guess what? 

Just like that my daughter was less frustrated and started to actually like tummy time (and so did I).

If you are looking to start tummy time with your baby and want to make it easy and fun, then this article teach you about:  

✓ What Is Tummy Time?

✓ Why Is Tummy Time Important?

✓ How Do You Do Tummy Time?

✓ When To Start Tummy Time?

✓ Five Best Tummy Time Pillows 2022

What Is Tummy Time?

Tummy time is when you place your baby on their stomach while they are awake. The positioning encourages them to try and lift their head as well as reach their arms out in front of them. 

Tummy time is an important exercise for your baby’s development and strength. It is also a wonderful time for interactive parent-baby bonding at an early age. 

When doing tummy time, it is important to remember that a baby should only do tummy time when  they are awake, and they should always be actively supervised by an adult.

Why Is Tummy Time Important?

mum and baby tummy time

When my baby was resisting tummy time, I wondered about the importance of it. Was it even necessary? 

Turns out yes, it is critical to the development and wellbeing of your little one. 

Tummy time helps babies achieve several major milestones in those first weeks and months through motor skill and muscle development. Think of it as a workout for babies.

Tummy time was originally recommended in direct response to the “Back to Sleep” campaign in the 90s. This campaign encouraged parents to put babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

According to this study, placing infants to sleep on their back led to an increased incidence of positional plagiocephaly, the development of a flat spot on the skull, and torticollis, a condition where the head constantly tilts to one side, in infants.

The National Health Services (NHS) says that one of the best ways to prevent or improve plagiocephaly and torticollis is to do tummy time because it reduces time spent on the baby’s back and strengthens the baby’s neck muscles.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tummy time also helps babies strengthen other key upper body muscles like their back and shoulders. It also leads to better development of gross motor skills, ultimately helping your baby learn to roll, grasp, eat, crawl, sit, and stand up.

How Do You Do Tummy Time?

The good news is that tummy time is easy to do just about anywhere. 

Simply place your baby on their stomach. This can be on the floor, a tummy time pillow, on your lap, or on your chest as you lay on the floor.

It is important that you supervise your baby during tummy time and do not leave them alone. They should be fully awake and alert.

I have found that tummy time works best right after a nap and a diaper change because my baby is alert and more open to interaction. I also like to make sure my baby is not hungry. 

I do not do tummy time immediately after a feed because I have noticed that the pressure on my baby’s belly can be uncomfortable when she has just eaten.

I like to have a soft blanket, mat, or tummy time pillow under my baby when we do tummy time. Inevitably my baby will lift her head and then send it crashing down as she learns to have more control, so a soft surface was a must for me.

To encourage my baby to try to lift her head and make tummy time more fun, I like to place toys in front or to the side of her. This has helped incentivize my baby to lift her head and learn to prop herself up on her elbows to look at and play with the toy. 

I also get down on the floor in front of my baby and talk to her or make silly faces to help engage her during tummy time.

baby mirror

One more great trick that encourages my baby to lift her head is to place an unbreakable baby mirror in front of her face. My baby will do just about anything to get a look at that cute baby in the mirror.

According to KidsHealth.org, it is recommended that you start doing tummy time 2 – 3 times a day for just a few minutes at a time. As your baby gets more accustomed to tummy time, you can begin to lengthen the amount of time they spend on their stomach. 

The World Health Organization recommends trying to work up to 30 minutes a day spent in the prone position (on their tummy).

When To Start Tummy Time?

Tummy time can be started in the first days following birth for a baby born at full term with no health issues, according to HealthyChildren.org. However, when in doubt please consult your paediatrician.

Like mine, your baby may not like it at first, but this does not indicate that they aren’t ready to do tummy time. Fussing and crying during tummy time are very common responses. 

when to start tummy time

In the first days of doing tummy time, my baby could not lift her head and got frustrated she could not look around and observe the world around her. As soon as I introduced a tummy time pillow, this began to improve.   

I provided daily tummy time until my baby could roll to her belly on her own and began spending a lot of time on her stomach by choice. It was at about six or seven months that my baby began to roll over and attempt crawling, so I felt I no longer needed to provide structured tummy time.

Can You Recommend a Tummy Time Toy? 

If you are looking for the best tummy time toy, I can recommend the brand new Dingle Dangle parenting toolkit

The Dingle Dangle is a 3-in-1 Interactive Toolkit for Parents. A Made for Mums “Editor’s Choice” Award Recipient, parents can wear the sensory-designed Dingle Dangle on their heads and watch as their babies interact with the colours and sounds. 

dingle dangle baby toy

Using the Dingle Dangle will promote your baby to stay on his/her tummy and look up at the sensory octopus dangling from your head. It may look silly at first, but it is an incredible tool to make tummy time interactive and fun. 

After you finish using the Dingle Dangle as a Tummy Time toy, it conveniently can transform into a portable mobile and sensory rattle. The Dingle Dangle is the perfect gift for new mums, dads and makes the perfect baby shower gift.

Five Best Tummy Time Pillows 2022

Tummy time pillows were a game-changer for me. They provided comfortable positioning for my baby and allowed me to prop her up so she could better look around. 

Additionally, most tummy time pillows have fun bright colours and other toy features that capture my baby’s attention and make tummy time a great chance to play and explore.

Tummy time

A bonus was that my baby, who struggled with reflux, was uncomfortable being on a firm surface on her belly. As soon as I introduced tummy time pillows to prop up her chest and take some pressure off of her belly, she loved tummy time.

As a parent of two, I have spent many hours doing tummy time with my babies and tried several different tummy time pillows. Here is a rundown of the five best tummy time pillows I have found.  

Nuby Tummy Time Pillow 

Nuby tummy time pillow

The Nuby Tummy Time Pillow is a roller-style pillow. I have found that this style of pillow is great for either putting under your baby’s chest to prop them up or placing in front of their head to encourage them to lift their head to play with the pillow. 

My favourite feature is that it comes with a wide range of toys attached, including a rattle, teether, mirror, and squeaking animal toy. The pillow itself features different colours and textures for your baby to explore.

The Nuby Tummy Time Pillow is also small and compact, so it is easy to take it on the go to grandma’s house or playdates!

Pros

 Good quality and value for the price

 Soft and comfortable

  Wide range of toys, colours, and textures for your baby to enjoy

  It has hooks where you can attach other toys

  Compact

Cons

X It can cause your baby to accidentally tip over the other side once they are strong enough to push forward

X Not machine washable

Price: £15

Taf Toys Development Pillow

Tummy Time Pillow

The Taf Toys Development Pillow has a unique, ergonomic design. It is a flat, wide pillow that I find supports more of my baby’s chest, allowing for easy movement of their arms. 

What I like most is that the wider design helps to prevent my baby from rolling off of it. The pillow also has a cute design, fun colours, and a detachable rattle toy and teether.

The Taf Toys Development Pillow does not prop my baby up as high as other pillows, which I find useful when my baby is just starting to learn to lift their head. My baby navigates using this pillow better in the first month than a roller-style pillow. 

However, I find that it does not prop my baby up enough as they start to get stronger. The most common complaint about this pillow is that it is too flat and does not have enough fill.

Pros:

 Wide design prevents baby from rolling off

 The pillow supports more of baby’s chest

Cons:

X Limited toys and entertainment compared to other pillows

X Lower quality and tends to show wear and tear quickly according to reviews

Price: £16.99

Mamas & Papas Tummy Time Pillow

tummy time pillow

The Mamas & Papas Tummy Time Pillow is a roller-style cushioned pillow. It is super soft and comfortable for your baby. It includes a mirror on one end and squeaks when you push on the other end (which my baby loves). 

This tummy time pillow also has attached crinkle, rattle, and chime toys. The pillow itself also has different textures for your baby to explore.

This pillow has splashes of bright colour, but overall is a more muted gray/cream design, so it coordinates well with any nursery.  Overall this pillow will stimulate your baby’s senses while encouraging them to lift their head.

The main downside is once your baby is strong enough to push forward, they can roll off the other side.

Pros

 Affordable and a great value

 Extremely plush and soft materials

 Lots of options for entertaining baby

 Compact

Cons

X It can cause your baby to accidentally tip over the other side once they are strong enough to push forward

X Not machine washable   

Price: £13.50

Fisher-Price Tummy Time Llama

Tummy time pillow

The Fisher-Price Tummy Time Llama Pillow is extremely versatile to grow with your baby. It features an adorable llama and can be used in four distinct ways. 

Not only can you prop baby up for tummy time you can also use it for playtime while laying or sitting, as well as remove all attachable toys to create a stuffed animal pal for your toddler.

This pillow has my favourite selection of attachable toys including a mirror, teether, and rattle. Toys can be attached or put into a little pocket on the side of the pillow.  

It comes with a double-sided blanket that you can wrap around the llama or unfold to reveal a brightly coloured floor mat to encourage your little one to reach out and explore with their arms while on their belly.

This is one of the pricier pillows on the market, but I think it is worth it for all the use you can get out of it as your baby grows.

Pros

 Machine washable

 High quality

 Versatile – It has uses beyond just tummy time

✓ Grows with your child well into the toddler years

Cons

X High price point 

Fairly large

X Rolls easily and doesn’t stand up on its own as well as other pillows according to reviews

Price: £22.75

Teytoy Tummy Time Pillow

The Teytoy Tummy Time Pillow is the most visually stimulating for your baby. It is a c-shaped pillow featuring a high-contrast, colour design. It has about 3 inches of cotton fill, providing comfortable cushioning for your baby.

The pillow also has an attachment in the front with crinkle, teether, and mirror toys that encourages your baby to lift their head and move their arms around.

Pros

 High-contrast design keeps baby entertained

✓ C-shape can help prevent baby from rolling off

Cons

X Not as durable as other pillows according to reviews

Price: £17.99

Conclusion

Like me, you may find your baby does not like tummy time and is very resistant. Tummy time pillows can be a game-changer and helped me make tummy time fun for my baby. 

I now have a 9-month-old who loves to be on her tummy more than any other position. She rolls to her tummy to sleep and plays on her stomach for a lot of the day.

By making tummy time fun through the use of tummy time pillows, I found I was much more likely to provide tummy time for my baby, rather than avoid it. I feel good knowing that every minute of tummy time I was able to provide for my baby helped her development. 

Now when my pediatrician asks if I have been doing tummy time, I can actually say yes!

About the Author

Megan Nelson is a mom to two daughters, works full-time with a pediatric cancer nonprofit, and enjoys writing blogs and articles about parenting, running, and healthy living. She currently resides in Colorado.


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