Practicing tummy time with your baby from day 1 is important because it teaches them how to push up, roll over, sit up, crawl and eventually stand. When sleeping you always want to put your baby on their back but during awake time, tummy time is vital for their development and growth. In addition, due to “back to sleep,” many babies have flat heads so tummy time gives your baby’s head a break from the pressure of sleeping on it. Most babies hate tummy time but the more they practice the better they will get. The recommendation is 30 minutes of tummy time per day.
In order to encourage tummy time, many parents buy an activity mat or a tummy time mat so your baby has something to look at when face down. The Infantino Surfboard Tummy Time Mat is a way to make tummy time fun for your baby. Shaped like a surfboard, this soft, washable, durable, cotton mat has a removable pillow to help prop up your baby. The mat has a small plastic aquarium window with 3 sea creatures that swim around. The aquarium can be refilled with water as needed. The mat also has 6 colorful links and 2 plush toys that can me attached to the side and removed. The mat comes in pink or blue and retails for about $20.
One downside to the mat is that it is not padded so you need to use it on carpet or on top of another soft blanket.
Many reviews claim that the mat serves its purpose but is not needed. You can buy an activity mat that provides more entertainment than just tummy time play.