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April 06, 2023 6 min read

Tummy time is an essential activity for babies which includes placing your little one on his or her tummy while awake and supervised to help improve motor skills and strengthen head, neck and shoulder muscles. It helps them develop muscle strength, reach physiological milestones, explore their environment and interact with you. Some research suggests that babies who spend time on their tummies will achieve milestones such as rolling over, supporting themselves on all fours and crawling earlier than babies who don’t.

Making space each day to practice tummy time is an important part of your routine. But for some babies (and their parents!), tummy time isn’t exactly a dream! After all, we can appreciate how a baby with little muscle strength may feel helpless and ill at ease being made to lay face down.

Unless a parent can find a way to help their baby enjoy tummy time tear free, outlining a list of compelling tummy time benefits won't be enough motivation for a parent to subject their baby to crying on their belly!  

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

How does the DockATot Deluxe Facilitate Tummy Time?

So that’s where the DockATot comes in! Our baby lounger's rounded bumper has been uniquely designed with the right amount of premium fill to comfortably support and elevate your baby during tummy time.

By placing baby’s arms and upper body over the bumper, your baby will appreciate the elevation which prevents them from knocking their foreheads on the floor if their muscles tire. The raised edge also gives your baby a new vantage point for observation and play. Now, everyone can enjoy tear-free tummy time!

(You will notice the padding in other inferior baby loungers is limp and minimal, rendering the product unsupportive for tummy time and therefore not as functional.)

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

What You Should Know About Tummy Time:

How To Do Tummy Time? 

For newborns, begin by placing your baby on your chest facing up towards you or across your lap to get them familiar with the position and being on their tummies. Once your baby is comfortable in this position, you can lay them on their tummy on a flat and firm surface, such as the DockATot, a play mat or blanket on the floor. Make sure their arms are in front of them and they have enough space to lift and move their head. Get down to your baby's level, and talk, sing, or play with them to encourage them to lift their head and engage with you.

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

5 Key Benefits of Tummy Time

Tummy time is an important activity for all babies as it helps them develop physically, mentally and emotionally.

1. Strengthens Muscles

Tummy time helps build and strengthen neck, shoulder, back and core muscles which are important for crawling, sitting and walking.

2. Prevents Flat Head Syndrome

A baby’s skull is soft and malleable when they are born, so if they spend too much time on their backs they can develop flat areas. The less time spent lying on their back and the more time a baby can spend on their tummies, the less likely they will develop flat head syndrome.

3. Develops Motor Skills

Tummy time allows babies to practice lifting their head, pushing up on their arms and eventually rolling over, all of which are important motor skills to develop.

4. Improves Vision

Baby’s visual development can be improved with tummy time and the new vantage point on the world. Imagine how dull it can get looking at the same spot on the ceiling all day long!

5. Enhances Cognitive Development

Tummy time can enhance a baby’s cognitive development by providing them with different sensory experiences, an opportunity to bond and connect with you as well as explore their environment.

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

When Should You Start Tummy Time?

Not sure when to start incorporating tummy time into your baby’s daily routine? Health experts say parents can begin placing baby on their bellies for supervised tummy time as early as right after birth and starting no later than one month old. For first time tummy timers, expect some cries and noisy protests. This is hard work for a little person! But just like any good exercise routine, the payoff comes with consistency. And keep in mind, if baby isn’t feeling the whole “tummy time” thing, don’t give up! A lot of babies dislike tummy time at first. As they get stronger and more comfortable on their tummies, they’ll begin to enjoy it.

Tummy time should happen after baby has been fed and burped and when they’re most awake and alert such as after a nap or nappy change.

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

How Often Should You Do Tummy Time? 

It is recommended to start with short sessions of 2-3 minutes, a few times a day, and gradually increase the time to 15-20 minutes over the day as your baby gets stronger and older.

Your baby should be able to lift their chest off the floor and lean on their elbows with their head upright around 4 months old. They may even be able to lift their arms off the DockATot bumper or the ground, arch their back, and kick their feet too! As they stretch and push on the floor, your baby may accidentally lean to one side, fall over and roll from their belly to their back. Don't be concerned; this is normal! Your baby at 5 to 6 months will begin to pivot on their belly and use their arms to reach in front of them or to the sides. Your baby will feel a sense of accomplishment when they learn to make their body do new things which will gives the the confidence to continue to try and learn.

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

5 Top Tummy Time Activities

Once baby is happily positioned on their tummies, try these 5 activities to make tummy time more fun and engaging for your little one:

1. Singing, Talking and Funny Faces

Stand up and sing songs and talk to your little one and encourage them to lift their head up to see you or even get down on their level and pull funny faces. This can also help to promote language development and bonding.

2. Play with Mirrors

Babies love looking at themselves in mirrors! Place a baby-safe mirror in front of them during tummy time. Seeing their reflection can be an engaging activity that encourages them to lift their head and look around.

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

3. Toy Reach

Place a few colourful toys within your baby’s reach and try get them to extend their arms and grasp the toys. You can also roll a soft ball back and forth to your baby. This encourages weight-shifting which will in turn improve muscle strength while also building hand-eye coordination and motor skills

4. Read Books

Place a board book in front of your baby during tummy time and encourage them to explore the pictures and textures.

5. Tummy Time with Siblings

If you have older kids, encourage them to get involved and play gently with baby during tummy time. This can be a fun bonding activity for siblings but also help your baby feel more comfortable and entertained.

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

Tummy Time Safety

When doing tummy time, always supervise your baby and ensure they are on a low, solid surface like the DockATot Deluxe or the floor so there is no risk off them falling. 

Keep in mind, your baby should be awake and supervised during this mini “baby workout”. But remember tummy time is HARD WORK! So if your little one starts to get sleepy during tummy time, be sure to turn them onto their back so they snooze safely on their back while you supervise or move them to their cot or bassinet.

Your baby needs tummy time to strengthen the muscles, which can help them move their faces away from something that might smother them. Stronger muscles help your baby to sit, crawl and roll over much easier.

The Complete Guide to Tear-Free Tummy Time for Baby

Parents Love DockATot for Tummy Time

"DockATot has been a game-changer...we use it to keep baby close to us when lounging and having a kick during tummy time." - Rachel M.

"Saved my Sanity! Prior to purchasing my DockATot, my toddler didn’t get any of my attention and I couldn’t get anything done! DockATot to the rescue and after about a week I had her lounging in there, LOVING tummy time and happy to chill out while I got on with things around her. It’s the best! - Melissa W 

"Such a convenient item to have with a newborn. Nice and light yet sturdy. Easily transportable, great for tummy time and easy to clean." - Emily C

Shop DockATot now and say hello to your extra set of hands!


Wishing you fun tummy time bonding moments!

Love, DockATot x

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