Tummy time toys
You probably picture a cuddly newborn wrapped up in a blanket on their back or in their parent’s arms. Tummy time is a way for babies to develop their minds and bodies. Experts spoke with us about the importance and support for tummy time, including activities and toys such as musical toys or activity gyms.
“Babies began to spend less time on their stomachs after the back-to-sleep campaign was successful in reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, (SIDS),” said Elisa song, MD, integrative paediatrician and founder of Whole Family Wellness in Belmont. Many babies are now sleeping on their stomachs and relying on their strollers and baby swings to keep them upright. This huge mistake can lead to poor motor, visual and sensory development. Song suggests that babies start tummy time as soon as possible. This will continue until around six months of age.
Michelle Emanuel, the pediatric occupational therapist, is certified in TummyTime! She teaches her patients the TummyTime! The method helps them understand tummy time’s profound impact on babies. It should be a top priority for parents, she says. (Disclaimer) Two of my sons had minor medical procedures and worked with Emanuel. It was there that I discovered how beneficial tummy-time could be.
Our experts believe that tummy time plays have many benefits. It helps with posture development, provides sensory input that is appropriate and useful to help babies learn colours, texture and orientation in space (proprioception), encourages crawling and sitting skills, lengthens and stretches the trunk, and prevents flat spots (plagiocephaly), due to too much lying on the back.
These are our top tummy toys and products.
A piano for your baby’s feet
Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick and Play Piano Gym is available at Buy Buy Baby and Target as well as Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond, starting at $39.88
Tummy time allows babies to move. You will notice their arms and feet begin to move, punching, kicking, and flailing as they learn to control their muscles. A tummy time mat with music that sounds when your baby kicks is a great way to encourage this. This mat doubles as a back play mat, making it cheaper than purchasing two separate products.
A singing peek-a-boo elephant
Flappy, the Animated Elephant, is available at Shop Buy Baby and Amazon. Nordstrom is $30
Flappy is the only product that has kept my four sons entertained during their tummy-time sessions. One of his feet sings, “Do your ears hang down?” The other begins a discussion. Meanwhile, his ears move in a peekaboo-style game that captures the attention of babies of all ages. Emanuel states that this toy can also be used by siblings, who can sing along and push the buttons. It’s a family tradition.
A foldable, interactive floor mirror that can be folded and folded.
Sassy Time Floor Mirror, available at Amazon and Target. $10.79
Our experts recommend that tummy time be done with a mirror. The baby will interact with the mirror even though they may not know it is them. It’s attractive to the eyes, reflective and beautiful for babies. Emanuel states that it is the first step in their self-awareness. The option can be folded and stored in a bin. You can interact with the toys by spinning the ball and clicking the bee.
The perfect friend for a rattle
Smart Noggin Noggin Stik is available at Fat Brain Toys and Amazon starting at $21.95
You don’t want to give your baby oversized rattles. The Noggin Stik is a fun-sized rattle that fits perfectly in a baby’s hand. Emanuel loves many Fat Brain Toys, including this one. They are easy to draw the baby’s interest. It’s also equipped with a hidden mirror, which makes it a multi-purpose toy.