The 12 best tummy time toys for 2020

02 September 2020

baby doing tummy time

If you want your baby to spend time on their tum, we've rounded up the best tummy time toys to buy this year.

Some babies take to it with ease. Others squirm and squeal. Love it or hate it, though, tummy time – the time your baby spends on their tummy when awake – is considered important for their development. That’s because babies need to strengthen the muscles required for crawling and sitting up unaided.

You can start tummy time as early as you like with your newborn by carefully placing them on their tummy, resting them on your chest or stomach. Make sure you’re not at risk of dozing off when you do this though – you need to stay wide awake so you can supervise your baby properly.

If your little one protests when you place them on their front – and believe us, many do! – tummy time toys can really help.

Products such as tummy time play mats and tummy time floor mirrors can entertain and distract, while baby gyms and teethers can also encourage safe tummy time play.

You’ll find a variety of products on the market – including tummy time prop pillows and tummy time water mats – so it’s worth considering what will suit you and your baby. They might prefer an interactive light-up toy or a simpler fold-away, baby-safe floor mirror.

Here are the 12 best tummy time toys for 2020. We hope they bring your baby lots of fun on their tum.

1. Best overall tummy time toy: Fisher-Price Grow-with-Me Tummy Time Llama

1. Best overall tummy time toy: Fisher-Price Grow-with-Me Tummy Time Llama

Newborns can lie safely on the double-sided blanket while the soft wedge provides tummy time support.

The Llama’s body offers a range of soft fabric textures plus a stash-away pocket for hide-and-seek play. The mirror can be attached to the mat or to the leaf in the Llama’s mouth and a carrot teether and watermelon rattle add a quirky touch.

Did you know that llamas have overtaken flamingos as this year’s fashionable ‘it’ animal? This is a piece of baby kit you won’t be ashamed to show off.

Then there’s its long-lasting appeal – we’re confident your little one will still be reaching for it during the toddler years and beyond.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Appeals to a variety of ages
  • Offers four ways to play
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • None that we could find!

Age: From birth

Price: £22.50

Buy now from Argos

2. Best tummy time toy for newborns: Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym

“I really like the Skip Hop baby gym.”

2. Best tummy time toy  for newborns: Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym

A truly versatile baby gym, the Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym is suitable from birth and offers multiple tummy time play activities.

Extra added value, which we think is ‘tree-mendous,’ comes in the form of a matching tummy time pillow to support your baby and encourage tummy time. This baby gym also offers a baby-safe mirror, which can be removed so the mat can be machine-washed.

Other features for your little nature lover to enjoy include gentle forest sounds, cuddly character toys, crinkle leaves and a squeaky flower.

Once your baby can sit confidently, you can remove the soft arches and use the Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym as a straightforward playmat.

Pros

  • 17 developmental activities and lots of toys included
  • Comes with a matching tummy time pillow
  • Machine-washable

Cons

  • No lights or music

Age: From birth

Price: £40

Buy now from Argos

3. Best budget tummy time toy: East Coast Say Hello Tummy Time Mat

3. Best budget tummy time toy: East Coast Say Hello Tummy Time Mat

A brilliant budget buy, this well-priced tummy time mat offers a supportive pillow for babies looking to explore. Despite being relatively compact at 80 × 59 × 11cm, it provides your baby with space to play without breaking the bank.

Featuring a fresh night-and-day design, it comes with a moon-shaped tummy time prop cushion to support your child.

There are other added extras for sensory play too, including a detachable teether, baby-safe mirror and soft ribbons for your baby to grab.

Then there’s the soft plush star which plays a sweet ‘hello’ tune that children will enjoy.

Pros

  • Offers good value for money with several added extras
  • Stylish modern design

Cons

  • Wipe clean only
  • Can’t replace batteries on the singing star

Age: From birth

Price: £14.95

Buy now from Amazon

4. Best tummy time pillow: Taf Toys Tummy Time Developmental Pillow

4. Best tummy time pillow: Taf Toys Tummy Time Developmental Pillow

Our favourite tummy time pillow does what it says on the tin. Suitable from newborn, the Taf Toys Tummy Developmental Pillow provides a soft wedge of comfort for your baby to encourage tummy time and help them strengthen their neck muscles.

Presented in soft pastel shades, this ergonomic support pillow comes with a detachable tummy time teether toy, and can be placed on top of a firm blanket or baby mat on the floor.

Measuring 42 × 10 × 23 cm and coming in at a featherweight 425 grams, it’s ideal as a travel tummy time toy because it can be stashed in a bag or lightweight buggy

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Provides excellent support
  • Travels easily

Cons

  • Limited entertainment value
  • Wipe clean only

Age: From birth

Price: £16.99

Buy now from Amazon

5. Best tummy time mat: Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop and Play Polar Bear

“A play mat or play gym is nice for them to lie on and look up at something, and good for tummy time.”

5. Best tummy time mat: Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop and Play Polar Bear

This sweet polar bear-shaped play mat has been specifically designed to aid tummy time. There’s a no-slip tummy time pillow to support your baby and the bear’s tented arms and head encourage your little one to work their neck muscles during tummy time. Other features include a baby-safe mirror, rattle, crinkle fabric patches and a baby owl cuddly toy.

Measuring 13 × 83 × 92cm, the Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop and Play Polar Bear is compact enough not to overwhelm your newborn and will last them until they can pull themselves into a crawling position.

Pros

  • Compact space-saver
  • Comes with a tummy time pillow
  • Folds easily for storage

Cons

  • Can only be used until your baby is pulling themselves into a crawling position

Age: From birth until they are able to pull themselves into a crawling position

Price: £30

Buy now from Argos

6. Best tummy time roll toy: Mamas & Papas Offspring Tummy Time Roll

“From about six or seven weeks, we put DD on a tummy time roll toy and she much preferred it to just being face down on the floor. I ended up buying it for several others.”

6. Best tummy time roll toy: Mamas & Papas Offspring Tummy Time Roll

A Mamas & Papas bestseller, this tube-shaped tummy time roll toy provides tummy time support for your baby. There’s a built in mirror, dangly fruit to grab and the striking retro colours really appeal to babies.

There are also plenty of soft and contrasting textures for your baby’s hands to explore, along with a variety of sounds including crinkles, rattles and squeaks.

Measuring 19 × 42 × 19cm, it’s sturdy enough to do the job but won’t hog your storage space.

Pros

  • Cute, quirky design
  • Provides excellent support
  • Lots of added extras

Cons

  • Wipe clean only
  • Pricier than other roll toys

Age: From birth

Price: £19

Buy now from Next

7. Most innovative tummy time toy: Tomy Lamaze Spin and Explore Garden Gym

“We had a Lamaze tummy time toy which really helped.”

7. Most innovative tummy time toy: Tomy Lamaze Spin and Explore Garden Gym

We love this tummy time mat’s inspired design and we’re pretty sure your baby will too. Lay them on the elevated spinning ladybird cushion in the centre of the flower-shaped mat. Then watch them kick their legs, gently propelling themselves around the ‘garden.’

Lamaze has struck on an ingenious way to encourage tummy time play and we haven’t found a toy by any other manufacturer to match it for innovation.

The mat measures 14 × 71 × 71cm so there’s plenty to explore. Once your baby can sit up, the spinner can be removed so the mat can continue to be used as they grow.

The Tomy Lamaze Spin and Explore Garden can be flung into the machine on a cold wash too, but don’t forget to remove the baby safe mirror first.

Pros

  • Unique, fun and interactive design
  • Offers a full tummy time workout for your baby
  • Machine-washable (on a cold setting)

Cons

  • The elevated cushion makes this activity gym bulky to store

Age: From birth

Price: £35

Buy now from Argos

8. Best tummy time mirror: Bright Starts Safari Floor Mirror

“DD hated tummy time until I found a toy with a mirror to plonk in front of her. Suddenly she loved being on her tummy, grinning at herself in the mirror for ages. She's 2.5 now and still loves looking at herself in mirrors.”

8. Best tummy time mirror: Bright Starts Safari Floor Mirror

Sometimes the best baby toys are the simplest. With its clever triangle design, the Bright Starts Safari Floor Mirror is easy to assemble and place in front of your baby.

This toy mirror is durable enough to survive curious whacks during tummy time and can be quickly folded down, making it easy to stash away. It travels well too.

With a bright fabric frame and wide reflective panel, your little one will be able to enjoy plenty of self-discovery with this floor mirror.

Added extras are minimal – there are some crinkly green fabric leaves on the mirror’s frame for interest – but, at this price, we won’t quibble. Besides, your baby will only have eyes for themselves when playing with this toy.

Pros

  • Simple, eye-catching design
  • Easy to set up and fold down
  • Sturdy
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Minimal added extras

Age: From birth

Price: £9.99

Buy now from Amazon

9. Best water mat: Infantino Pat and Play Water Mat

“My DD loved water mats when doing tummy time.”

9. Best water mat: Infantino Pat and Play Water Mat

Water is enthralling for young children and we’re confident that this water play mat will keep your baby occupied during tummy time. Simply fill the mat with water and place it down in front of your child. As they pat it, they’ll see the floating characters bob around.

Suitable from three months, the Infantino Pat and Play Water Mat is pretty versatile. Not only is it ideal for tummy time play, it’s small enough to be popped on a high chair tray or in the buggy.

Made from BPA-free plastic, it’s also straightforward to keep clean and store.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Compact
  • BPA-free

Cons

  • The water valve can be slightly tricky to operate

Age: From three months

Price: £5.99

Buy now from Precious Little One

10. Best 3-in-1 tummy time toy: Fisher-Price Monkey Mirror Toy

“Get a freestanding mirror/activity toy so they can admire themselves as they roll and flay around, but big enough that they can still do so when they sit up.”

10. Best 3-in-1 tummy time toy: Fisher-Price Monkey Mirror Toy

A true all-rounder, the Fisher-Price Monkey Mirror Toy provides a variety of tummy time entertainment, also covering fine motor skills, visual and sound stimulation, and sensory play.

Open up this folding baby toy and you’ll find a perfectly angled tummy time mirror – ideal for encouraging even the most reluctant of tummy timers.

On the mirror’s flipside, there are fun characters for your baby to discover, including a squeaky monkey and a noisy parrot, and interesting textures to explore such as soft faux grass.

Easily folded down and secured after use, it makes an ideal travel tummy time toy to stash in a changing bag or suitcase.

Pros

  • Three ways to play
  • Great travel toy
  • Easily closed

Cons

  • Wipe clean only

Age: From birth

Price: £17.49

Buy now from Amazon

11. Best tummy time teether: Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy

11. Best tummy time teether: Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy

Though not marketed as a specific tummy time toy, this award-winning teething toy is something of a classic, having been charming babies and parents since 1979.

It’s certainly sturdy enough for tummy time play. Featuring a maze of eye-catching, soft interconnecting tubes, it’s constructed from BPA-free plastic. The inner cube makes a satisfying rattling sound too.

Not only will your baby enjoy gumming the Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether, it’s also the ideal toy to be grabbed during floor time, when they’re stretching their muscles.

Buying a dual-purpose piece of baby kit like this is a great money and space-saver.

Pros

  • Teether and tummy time toy rolled into one
  • Strong colours and eye-catching design
  • Classic award-winning toy

Cons

  • Handwash only – not dishwasher-safe

Age: From birth

Price: £11.99

Buy now from Amazon

12. Best light-up toy: Baby Einstein Glow and Discover Lightbar

12. Best light-up toy: Baby Einstein Glow and Discover Lightbar

If your little one seems reluctant at tummy time, this battery-powered sensory toy might be the distraction you’ve been looking for. The buttons light up when your child touches them. Sounds include animal noises, xylophone chords and a voice which can be set to English, Spanish or French.

The bar can be positioned to lie flat during tummy time so your baby can see all the action from their position on the floor. Further down the line, once your child has learnt to sit unaided, the toy can be elevated and continued to be enjoyed.

Pros

  • Highly entertaining
  • Can be used during tummy time and later once once baby is sitting up
  • Collapsible

Cons

  • Can be noisy
  • Needs batteries

Age: From three months

Price: £20

Buy now from Argos

What is tummy time?

Simply put, tummy time involves putting your baby on their stomach while awake and supervised in order to help strengthen the muscles they’ll need for sitting and crawling. The idea was first introduced by experts around 20 years ago.

When should you start tummy time?

You can start tummy time with your newborn as early as possible, as long as you’re both awake and alert. Many parents start tummy time when their baby is around two weeks old.

How long should a baby do tummy time?

At first, aim for up to three sessions a day for three to five minutes each time, gradually building up to them doing around 20 minutes to half an hour each day by the time they’re three to four months old. Supervise your baby at all times during tummy time.

What's the best surface for tummy time?

You can hold your baby on your chest or stomach at first but, as they get older, you could lie them on a tummy time mat or tummy time pillow on the floor.

How do I keep my baby entertained during tummy time?

Keep your baby entertained with a tummy time mirror or baby gym. For babies interested in water play, choose a water play mat.

What toy is best for tummy time?

We scored the Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym as the best tummy time toy for newborns because it ticks so many boxes and can be used right from the start. We also love the Mamas & Papas Offspring Tummy Time Roll for the support it offers your baby, along with added entertainment extras.

We think the travel-friendly Bright Starts Safari Floor Mirror is the best tummy time floor mirror and, for babies who are reluctant to take part in tummy time, the Baby Einstein Glow and Discover light-up toy is an ideal option that will carry on entertaining your child once they can sit unaided.

Our overall best tummy time toy is the Fisher-Price Grow-with-Me Tummy Time Llama. We adore its quirky design and added extras such as a baby safe mirror, stash-away pocket and brightly-coloured toys. We also rate its versatility and value for money – offering four ways to play – and its longevity. We’re confident it will appeal to your baby for years, long after they’ve finished with tummy time play.

How we chose our recommendations

We believe that, when it comes to baby products, the real experts are parents who’ve already been there and tried them out. As a result, most of our recommendations for tummy time toys come from Mumsnet users themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which products, such as tummy time mats and mirrors, parents really loved.

We then checked out other review websites to see how the tummy time toys had performed in testing and which had scored highly with parents, as well as looking at guidance from the NHS to ensure we were following official safety guidelines when picking our favourite products.

Why you should trust us

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