Tummy Time Alternatives: Other Ways to Help Your Baby Develop Strong Muscles




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Tummy time is an essential part of a baby’s development, but not all babies enjoy or tolerate the traditional tummy time positions.

If you’re a parent struggling to find a tummy time routine that works for your baby, don’t worry – there are other ways to help your little one develop arm, back and neck muscle strength, strong arms and reach important developmental milestones.

In this article, we’ll explore safe and fun alternatives to tummy time and provide tips for incorporating them into your baby’s routine. From playtime and exercise, there are plenty of options to explore. Let’s dive in and find the perfect alternative for your little one!

Key Takeaways for Other Ways to Do Tummy Time

  • Traditional tummy time positions don’t work for all babies, but there are alternative ways to promote muscle development and growth.
  • Alternative positions like side-lying, supported sitting, and standing can be just as effective as tummy time.
  • Babywearing, swaddling, and playtime or exercise are other options to consider when traditional tummy time positions aren’t working for your baby.

Alternative Positions

If you’re searching for other ways for tummy, perhaps a different tummy time position may work for you and your baby.

Traditional tummy time positions don’t work for all babies, but there are alternative positions that can be just as effective in promoting muscle development and growth. These positions offer a different way for babies to reach important developmental milestones.


Side-lying is a great alternative position for babies who don’t tolerate traditional tummy time positions well. To perform side-lying, place your baby on their side with a rolled-up towel or blanket behind their back for support. This position helps develop neck and shoulder muscles and is also good for babies who have reflux.

Make sure your baby doesn’t sped too much time on one side. Slowly lay them on the bed while awake turn them to the other side.

Supported Sitting

Supported sitting is another alternative position that can help babies develop their necks and shoulders. To perform supported sitting, sit your baby up with support from pillows or cushions behind their back. This position helps babies learn to control their head movements and can also help with strengthen back muscles, balance and coordination.


The standing position is a great way to help babies strengthen their leg and core muscles. To perform the standing position, hold your baby under their arms and let them put weight on their legs. This position helps develop leg strength and coordination, and can also help with balance and posture.


Babywearing refers to the practice of carrying a baby using a special carrier or wrap that allows for hands-free movement. It provides a safe, convenient, and comfortable way to carry and care for a baby. Babywearing provides numerous benefits for babies, including increased bonding with caregivers, improved physical and emotional development, and reduced crying and fussiness.

Playtime and Exercise

Playtime and exercise are essential for promoting muscle development in babies. By providing a variety of toys and activities on the floor, you can help your baby develop their muscles and coordination in a fun and engaging way.

Using different toys and activities

Placing toys close to your baby encourages them to reach out for them and move side to side.

Tummy time play mats and exercise balls can help babies strengthen their tummy and neck muscles. You can also place your baby’s chest against a soft rolled-up blanket or nursing pillow.

Play gyms and mobiles can encourage many babies to reach and grasp, which helps develop hand-eye coordination. Soft blocks and rattles can help babies develop their fine motor skills.

You can also get your old exercise ball out and put your baby while on their tummy on top. Place a blanket on the ball to make it cozy for your baby. Make sure you hold your her to keep her in a secure position even if the baby moves.

Can Alternatives Replace Traditional Tummy Time?

While these alterative can be effective in promoting muscle development, traditional tummy time is still an important part of a baby’s development. It’s recommended to use a combination of both traditional and alternative baby tummy time activities for the best results.

Regardless which methods you use, always make sure to roll her onto her back if your baby falls asleep. You can easily remember this by taking a mental note — “tummy to play, back to sleep.”

Additional Tips on Tummy Time

Tummy time helps prevent flat spots especially if the newborn spends longer periods on their back. It also encourages infants to learn how to lift their body and heads and use their arms while crawling. In most cases, it gives babies a new perspective on the world around them.

So, rather than replacing traditional tummy time, these alternatives more or less make tummy time interesting and easier for both parents and baby.

Many parents knows how important tummy time is for their babies’ growth and development. They find these extra tips for enjoying tummy time with their babies.

Start early

It’s always recommended to start tummy time as early as you and your baby can. You can have a tummy-to-tummy time with your baby while both of you are still in the hospital. Simply place baby on your chest or stomach for brief periods to allow your baby to accept belly down as a natural position.

Set a regular tummy time

To make your baby’s adjustment to tummy time as easy as possible, set up a regular schedule for tummy time. One good idea is doing it after baths or naps and even after diaper changes. Make sure to put your baby on the floor and not on the changing station.

Talk to your baby

Talking to baby is so underused in terms of making tummy time fun. Remember that even if they can’t understand what you’re saying, your baby loves hearing your voice. Sing to them while feeding or read stories from children’s books.

Whether your baby is on the floor or laying across your lap or knees, always keep them at eye-level and maintain eye contact while talking to them.

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