Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tummy Time Mat

Doctors these days suggest laying infants on their back while sleeping, to prevent SIDS. When I was raising my children, the norm was to lay them on their stomach, to keep them from choking if they spit up. Times change. But, doctors also want little ones to spend waking time on their tummy, to strengthen their neck muscles, and this is very important to Little Man with his torticollis.


There are cute little Tummy Time Mats at the local Walmart and such and LeLe purchased one for our W. I looked at it and figured I could make one for Nanna’s house and got to work.

Step 1: Making the patterns

I used my trusty leftover wrapping paper to create two patterns. One for the mat itself and one for the little pillow that raises LMW up. The mat is shaped like a very fat hot dog and is approximately 25 x 35. In this photo, the pattern is halved, and you cut on the fold.

The pillow is shaped more like a thin kidney bean. It is approximately 21 x 8.
(I have food on my mind….)

Step 2: Cutting out

I used one yard of printed flannel for the top and one yard of coordinating fabric for the bottom of the mat. I intended using the same fabric, but miscalculated and just used something I already had in my stash for the bottom. I cut one each out of the two fabrics.
I used two layers of batting, because I wanted it to be cushy. You could use one and it would probably be fine and probably easier to deal with as well. One of the packages of crib sized batting was the perfect size for two layers. I also used the pattern to cut that to size.

Taking a solid color coordinating fabric, different than the bottom fabric, I cut two pillow shapes out. It will be stuffed with fiberfill.

Step 3: Assembling the mat

I layered first the bottom fabric right side down, the batting, then the top fabric right side up and pinned them all together, smoothing everything as much as possible and making sure there were no folds or wrinkles.

I stitched all three layers about ¾ of an inch from the edge, all the way around. I then took the pattern and using a water soluble pencil (watercolor) I traced another line about 2 ½ inches or more inside the original stitching line. I stitched that all the way around as well, to secure the batting a bit more. You could quilt it, if you wanted, but I wanted to leave it as soft and cushy as possible.

I trimmed the excess batting from the edge to the stitch line, and then made cuts all the way around the edge for fraying. This is much much easier than trying to bind it and it looks great.

I wanted to be able to roll it up to go, so I decided to use more of the bottom fabric to create ties. I created them by cutting a long strip of fabric about 3 inches wide, folded it wrong side out, and stitching down the open side creating a tube.

I turned the tube right side out by attaching a safety pin to the end, and running it back through on the inside. I pressed it, then cut it in the middle making two ties.

I placed them together, right side down onto the second stitching line, on the bottom of the mat, and sewed across, then folded them back over and stitched again hiding the raw edge.

I finished the edges by turning the raw edge inside and stitching across. Now your mat is finished.

Step 4: Assembling the pillow

Lay the two kidney shaped pieces right sides together and pin. Starting on the outside edge, stitch around the edge with a normal seam allowance. Leave a 4 inch opening to turn it right side out. After turning, press, and stuff with fiberfill. Don’t overstuff, as you want it soft and comfortable for baby. Turn the raw edges inside, pin and sew a small seam close to the edge to close the pillow up.

The store purchased pillows have rattles and teething rings attached to them, but I didn’t have any available for this first endeavor. Still I believe it turned out great and I’m happy with it. I can roll the pillow up inside the mat, tied it and put it away when LMW is not here.


All ready for Tummy Time!

Rolled up to put away for his next visit to Nanna's.

I hope I've explained everything clearly. If you have any questions, please post them and I'll edit the tutorial as much as possible to clear things up.


  1. You are too good...I really think we could make some money selling these on Etsy. Much cheaper than buying one at the store.

  2. This post is extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share so many step by step photos.

    1. Thank you Dawne! It's been quite some time since the grandson used a tummy time mat! He's 6 and 1/2 now.