Tummy time is an essential exercise to engage in with your little one. It helps develop and strengthen their muscles.
Not all babies seem to enjoy it, though. But by using some toys, you can make it more fun.
The best tummy time toys are those that engage your little one, keeping them distracted while they exercise.
- Ultra-soft materials
- Super cute baby koala theme
- Large, baby-safe mirror
- Encourages baby to lift their head
- Vibrant colors
- Baby-safe materials
- Supportive tummy time pillow included
- Plenty of surprises to discover
- The fabric is soft
- Colorful and full of prints
- Features music and bells
- Includes a meter and foot scale
- Plenty of animals to play with
- Bright and colorful
- Allows for rearrangement
- Fantastic discovery ball with sounds
- Large, true-reflection mirror
- Bold colors
- Can stand on its own
- Plenty of components to discover
- Easy to wrap up and store
- Machine washable
- For tummy time and seated support
- Multiple textures to discover
- Baby-safe teether included
- Bright, fun colors
- Can stand by itself
- Large mirror with minimal distortion
Why Tummy Time Toys Are Helpful
Tummy time is a valuable exercise to do with your baby from an early age. It helps establish the muscles they need for reaching other milestones such as crawling, rolling over, and sitting.
Experts have found that babies who spend less time on their belly often experience delays when developing motor skills (1).
Although tummy time is essential, many babies will fuss every time you roll them over. This is when a fun toy will come in handy.
Tummy time toys can be anything that your baby enjoys looking at. It could be a fun ball, a colorful play mat, a baby-safe mirror, or a squeaky toy. As long as it distracts your little one, it’s perfect.
Tummy time should be short spurts 3-5 minutes, 3x a day, and only while awake (2).
Editor's Note:Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC
How to Choose a Safe Tummy Time Toy
Whenever you look for a toy for your baby, it’s essential to choose one that’s age-appropriate. Almost all toys will have a recommended age sticker or sign, showing you the minimum age suggested.
The products on our list today are all suitable for small babies. However, you should still consider if it’s right for your child’s age or whether it’s too complicated or overstimulating.
Bigger Is Better
Until your little one turns three, you should always be mindful of the size of the toy. Children under the age of 3 years tend to put objects in their mouths, which pose a choking risk (3).
To verify if the toy is big enough, try to push it through a toilet paper roll. If it can’t fit, you’re good to go.
Your baby may not play rough yet, but they love to pull and chew on their toys. If the item has glued or sewn-on parts, they could become undone should your little one tug at them.
Before using a toy, test all parts by pulling at them. If they seem to loosen, fasten them securely, or find something else.
The Best Tummy Time Toys of 2021
Here are our favorite tummy time toys on the market.
1. Taf Toys Koala Tummy-time Activity Book
This activity book helps with two early phases of development. Stage one is for infants under 3 months, and features crinkle sides for initial tummy time. It’s simple, allowing your baby to focus on one image at a time.
For babies older than 3 months, stage two includes rich, vibrant colors with a cute koala theme. There’s a teether as well as a play pocket to develop your baby’s fine motor skills. If you turn the book, there’s also a large mirror your little one can look into.
The activity book stands on its own, making it excellent for viewing when your little one is on their stomach. The cute illustrations on all pages make the book fun for both parent and child.
- Ultra-soft materials.
- Super cute baby koala theme.
- Two-stage toy suitable for different ages.
- Large, baby-safe mirror.
- There could be more pages.
2. Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether
The Winkel toy from Manhattan Toy is an award-winning product. It’s a two-in-one toy, great for playtime.
As both a rattle and teething toy, it allows your little one to continue using it well beyond infancy. The rattle is mesmerizing to look at — the maze of baby-safe tubes are great for grabbing and chewing.
The soft tubes surround the central cube, which creates a pleasing rattle sound when your baby moves it. With bright colors, it should grab any baby’s attention.
The tubes are made of safe, BPA-free plastic, and it’s suitable for babies between newborn and 24 months.
- Two-in-one toy.
- Great for encouraging the baby to lift their head.
- Vibrant colors.
- Baby-safe materials.
- Requires frequent cleaning — keep in mind that it’s hand-wash only.
- You won’t be able to steam sanitize this because it will melt.
3. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Infant Activity Gym
Your little one will have lots of exploring to do while on this activity gym mat from Skip Hop. It’s a nature theme, with 17 multi-sensory developmental activities such as a mirror, contrasting textures, and hanging soft toys.
The mat is ultra-soft —with included patterned arches and a supportive tummy time pillow.
We’re in love with the nature-inspired graphics — they’re vibrant and adorable to look at.
Besides the cuteness factor, the mat is full of surprises. There’s a squeaky flower your baby can push, textured crinkly leaves to touch and much more. All materials used are baby-safe and machine washable, so no need to worry about potential messes.
- Supportive tummy time pillow included.
- It’s great for back time as well.
- Plenty of surprises for your little one to discover.
- The fabric is soft.
- It doesn’t fold, so may be difficult to store.
- No way to replace the batteries for the music function.
4. LightDesire Musical Caterpillar
This musical caterpillar from LightDesire is an excellent tool for tummy time. Parents say their babies love the colors and texture the most. It’s vibrant and super soft, yet contains many fun components.
The caterpillar works in different ways — there’s even a fun element for mom and dad. Along its belly, there’s a measuring scale to keep track of your baby’s length.
The bright colors are excellent at promoting visual development. Your little one will have lots to look at, with multiple patterns.
For auditory stimulation, the caterpillar’s head plays a lovely song, and throughout its body sections are bells, which ring when moved.
Some segments feature crinkly fabric to help develop the sense of touch.
- Colorful and full of prints.
- It features music and bells.
- Includes a meter and foot scale to measure your baby.
- Soft material.
- The music button is difficult to push.
- It only features one song.
5. Fisher-Price Rainforest Deluxe Gym
Take a trip into the jungle along with your baby in this rainforest-themed activity gym from Fisher-Price. With more than ten activities and toys included, it’s fantastic for a growing baby.
Your little one will get a thorough workout by kicking and moving while playing with the animals. When your baby kicks, they’ll activate music and light.
Fisher-Price includes several animals your little one can reach for and play with. Some of the animals are soft plush while the zebra works as a rattle your baby can hold and shake. Whether your baby is on their tummy or back, they’ll have plenty to do.
Overhead, you can hang the butterflies and the baby-safe mirror. Everything can be rearranged to create a new activity environment for every playtime.
- Plenty of animals to play with.
- Bright and colorful, with sounds and lights.
- Baby mirror included.
- It allows for rearrangement.
- The bird sits high, and it’s not easy for the baby to interact.
- It takes a lot of storage space.
6. VTech Baby Lil' Critters Discover Ball
This discovery ball is terrific for tummy time — with outstanding reviews from parents, it’s worth a look. It’s a plush ball toy with characters, numbers, and vibrant colors.
The ball includes a motion sensor, which activates sounds and phrases as your baby gets closer. It’s great for grabbing your baby’s attention, encouraging them to lift their head or crawl.
VTech also included some educational components, too. The star-shaped button activates animal sounds and numbers. The ball is recommended for babies aged 6 months and up.
The ball can be tossed, bitten, and kicked — excellent for physical development.
- Fantastic discovery ball with sounds.
- Eye-catching characters, numbers, and colors.
- Durable and able to take kicks, bites, and tosses.
- The volume is too low.
- The ball is quite heavy, so small babies will have a hard time lifting it.
7. Tummy Time Floor Mirror By Sassy
Mirrors are a great tool when doing tummy time, and this one from Sassy is exceptional. It has received stellar reviews from parents, praising how clear and safe it is.
This 10-inch, true-reflection mirror works to engage your little one during tummy time. It is large and colorful with a bold blue frame and attached play bugs your baby can interact with.
The bright red ladybug doubles as a rattle to grab your baby’s attention. Then there’s the bee they can rotate and click, and tactile, crinkly wings to play with.
The mirror can stand on its own, although your baby may knock it over when getting too excited.
- A large, true-reflection mirror that’s clear.
- Bold colors.
- Fun attached bugs.
- It can stand on its own.
- It’s easy to knock over.
- It requires a thorough hand wash after receiving to remove residue from the manufacturer.
8. Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play Mat
For the smallest babies, we have this playmat from Bright Stars. It’s a 3-foot, bear-themed mat, offering plenty of support for even the tiniest babies.
With plush and extra padding, the polar bear mat is comfy to wiggle, kick, and lie on. Included is a matching prop pillow you can use to support your little one, making tummy time more enjoyable. It’s fantastic for the first few months as your baby develops their muscles.
Around the mat are satin loops, adding a fun element. There are lots of things to discover once your baby gets a little older. From crinkle sounds to rattles, fun attachments, and a mirror — the mat provides hours of play.
- It offers a lot of support for small babies.
- Plenty of components to discover.
- Easy to wrap up and store.
- Machine washable.
- The head of the polar bear doesn’t stay up well.
9. Infantino Prop-A-Pillar 2-in-1 pillow
This tummy time support pillow is good for small babies. It’s a cute caterpillar that will provide them with ample entertainment.
The caterpillar is extendable. Once extended fully, you can place your baby on it for tummy time, giving their developing muscles a fun workout.
When your little one is learning how to sit, you can stack the bug, creating a secure seat for them.
Your baby has multiple textures to discover. The caterpillar’s firm, high-quality body has crinkly components as well as soft fabrics. Included is also a BPA-free silicone teether they can bite on when their teeth are coming in.
- Excellent for tummy time and when they learn to sit.
- Multiple textures to discover.
- Baby-safe teether included.
- It can come apart when in seat mode.
10. Bright Starts Floor Mirror
Let your baby discover their reflection with this mirror from Bright Starts. It has outstanding reviews from parents praising the image and fun factor.
The 11-inch wide frame of the mirror is bright green, sporting a jungle theme with crinkly leaves, a little monkey, and a cute dragonfly. It’s capable of standing by itself, and parents say it’s surprisingly steady. You can also pack it flat for when you’re on the go.
The mirror is large and clear — it doesn’t create distortions, as some other baby mirrors tend to do.
- Bright, fun colors.
- It can stand by itself.
- Large mirror with minimal distortion.
- It scratches easily.
What a Belly Blast
Although tummy time is crucial for developing motor skills and reaching milestones, many babies don’t enjoy it. Finding the best tummy time toy can help distract your little one while they’re lying on their belly.
Tummy time toys should be age-appropriate and not contain any loose parts that your baby could swallow. Babies are developing their sensory awareness, so sounds, colors, and textures are always a hit.
These toys encourage exercise to help your little one get to their next milestone. Don’t forget to get down on your floor and spend some time at eye level with your baby to make them enjoy tummy time even more.