What to Do if Your Baby Cries During Tummy Time

Tummy time can be a fun and exciting activity for your baby.

Being placed on their stomach is a new experience for infants, so it may take some time to adjust, and that’s OK! There are things you can do to soothe them and help them enjoy being on their belly. Read on for tips and tummy time activities to try.

Note: If you haven’t already, check out our tips for starting tummy time safely

Infant cries during tummy time while dad provides comfort

If your baby cries during tummy time, it’s not that your baby hates tummy time. For babies, being placed on their bellies is completely new. Some babies may feel uncomfortable and get fussy or cry. 

Adjusting to something new isn’t easy—even for adults. But with a little soothing and support, your baby may learn to enjoy this activity. So, if your baby cries when you place them on their belly, don’t give up just yet.

Tummy time activities to soothe your baby or help them enjoy being on their belly:

  • Talk, sing and make silly noises while making eye contact with your baby. This can help make tummy time more enjoyable for both of you.
  • Rub your baby’s back. A gentle, calming touch can help provide comfort.
  • Get on their level. Tummy time is a great chance to build physical connection. As long as you are awake and alert, lie on your back and place your baby on your belly. Let them move their arms, legs and head around while you enjoy this bonding moment.
  • Set them up for success. Make sure your baby is comfortable for tummy time—ensure they have a fresh, dry diaper, and they aren’t hungry or tired.
  • Try tummy time after a nap. Your baby is more likely to enjoy tummy time soon after they wake up as opposed to before they go to sleep.
  • Give them a boost. It’s OK to prop your baby’s chest and arms up with a small pillow or rolled up blanket to make them more comfortable. Just remember not to leave your baby on their belly unsupervised. This could be especially dangerous around bedding and other soft items as they pose suffocation risks.


If you try to soothe your baby and they are still upset, it’s OK to pick them up and try again later. Doing this helps build trust, and your baby will start to realize they can count on you to meet their needs and keep them safe.