1. A Large Basket
My basket is about 7″ by 13″ across at the widest points. This makes your toolbox so much easier to manage. This is not for baby to play with, just for storage.
2. A Flannel Blanket with an Eye Catching Pattern
A lot of people have tummy time mats, which those work well sometimes. Some babies (like mine) find them frustrating because they are made of a slippery fabric so they will be easy to clean. Unfortunately it doesn’t provide any traction for babies. I like to choose blankets that have a white or pale background with bold colored objects on them (like pawprints) because sometimes baby likes to look down at the pattern.
3. An Unbreakable Mirror
These are really inexpensive, they don’t have to be perfectly clear. They only have to be clear enough for little one to see himself. I like the Bright Starts Sit and See Floor Mirror because it’s easy to store, light weight, and works perfectly for this. It’s about $10.
4. A Play Wedge
You can use a Boppy for this, but it may be a little big if your little one is on the small side like mine. This play wedge is perfect for newborn sized babies. Several companies make little wedges like this or you can even make your own. I like the Fisher-Price Comfort Vibe Play Wedge because it’s the right size and it also has the ability to vibrate or make noise, plus it comes with a couple of cute toys tethered to it. It’s usually under $10. For very small babies, like preemies, you could probably use a neck travel pillow.
5. A Cloth Diaper
These are an unexciting addition to the kit, but it’s super handy. Roll one up and put it under baby’s chest for added leverage or in place of the wedge. It’s nice to be able to switch things up. You can also use a small towel.
6. A Large Board Book
This isn’t for reading. It’s for atmosphere. Of course, you can read it too, but it’s mainly here for the bright bold images it can provide when you prop it up for background.
7. Oball or Other Easy-Grip Toy
There are a lot of different Oballs to choose from. Some are rattles and some have different extensions. Some rattle like the Oball Rainstick . Some are plain. I personally like the one with rattles because it adds a little extra to the toy. I included this toy because it’s just so awesome for sensory and gripping training and it’s great for use outside of tummy time too.
8. Activity Balls
I have the Rollar Pillar Activity Balls by Baby Einstein, but there is also Bright Starts Activity Balls if you think your baby will like those better. They are nearly identical in style as well as price. The only difference is Einstein has a blinky ball and the bright starts has a texture ball.
9. Soft Blocks
Mine are from the Disney store, but they are easy to find. Sometimes they even have stuff similar at the dollar store. You’re looking for something that is plush and square that has different textures. If you have a Bumpy Ball that would work great as well.
10. Wind Up Plush Toy
I have a plush husky puppy that I bought when I was pregnant, which I don’t think they make anymore. It came from Target. However, this Carters Musical Moving Giraffe shows you what I mean. This is one of the pricier additions to the kit that you may not have on hand. Any musical plush will work, but I like the mechanics of the traditional wind up because its gentle stimulation without a lot of loud noise and lights. It provides interest without overstimulation. The Carter’s plush also move their head gently. These are great because they will generally start playing just a little bit when bumped and give baby something different to reach for.
11. Soft Washcloth
Experts say the best time to tummy time is right after eating. I’ve found this to be true for us. However, it does mean there is a high likelihood for spit ups. When it happens, just be cheerful about it as if something silly just happened.
12. Rattles and Other Brightly Colored Toys
These are mostly for you to use to play and interact with your little one, but they might bat at them as well. I like this really Goofy Fish Set because the little toys are all the right size for his hands and they all make different noises. These are the toys we use most outside of tummy time other than the Oball.
You are the most important part of tummy time. Never leave your baby unattended for tummy time and spend some time to play, play, play! Remember you’re his or her biggest cheerleader. Treat tummy time like an exciting exploration rather than a drill in fifth period gym class.
Do you have any other suggestions? What do you use in your toolbox?