What is a baby play mat?
Baby play mats are essentially flat foam or padded fabric surfaces where it is safe for a baby to play. Activity mats are available in a range of designs. Some can be washed in a washing machine, and others can be wiped clean. Many parents couple the carpet with an activity gym for their baby. This is a wooden or plastic arch structure with toys suspended from it. You could also purchase a baby play gym that combines the dangling toys with the play mat.
Features and designs of a baby play mat
- A soft, comfortable surface with pillows and foam.
- Several fabrics and textures encourage tactile interactions and discovery
- A bar with dangling toys to encourage baby to roll over, plus reach and grasp objects
- Some play mats have additional activities, like mirrors, lights, sounds, and built-in musical instruments.
- Typically collapse the bar holding the dangling toys.
- Quickly fold the mat to store and transport it.
What are the benefits of a baby play mat?
A play mat for a baby is a must-have item for several reasons:
Convenience – Play mats are comfortable, portable, and simple to fold.
- To keep the baby occupied and content put it up at the park or a friend’s house.
- Safe space –Your baby will feel secure because of the supportive foam’s firm yet soft texture. Your infant can practice rolling over and sitting up away from hard surfaces.
Freedom of movement – A play mat offers more excellent room than a bassinet or cot for your baby. It promotes exercise by allowing children to move around more freely and kick, roll, and scoot.
- Due to their freedom of movement, they are independent and capable of making their own decisions.
- Sense of touch – Baby gyms allow babies to touch and explore using textiles, plastic, soft toys, and various textures. Babies are naturally interested and connect significantly with the world through their sense of touch.
- Cognitive development – Playmat’s vibrant hues, varied textures, flashing lights, and sounds give them the required stimulus. Your child’s alert time will constantly be stimulating since something will catch their attention.
- Motor skills – Grasping is a significant development milestone that your baby should reach between 3 and 5 months. The dangling toys encourage your baby to go and grab them.
- Hand-eye coordination – Your infant’s hand-eye coordination won’t develop right away. Because there is always something new to play with, a play mat encourages coordination.
- Muscle development – Tummy time promotes the growth of the muscles in the back, shoulders, and neck. These muscles must grow before your baby can sit, roll over, crawl, or walk. A play mat is beneficial because it offers a cozy area where your baby may rest on their stomach and make a variety of motions to engage with the toys.
Benefits of using a play mat
Here are the main benefits that they bring.
They are a safe and hygienic place to play
Floors are never going to be the cleanest place in the house. Babies are very vulnerable to household germs because their immune system has not yet developed. A play mat provides an area you can keep free from dust, germs, and dirt. They also offer a soft, supportive surface for your baby to practice moving around.
If you are considering visiting a friend’s house or the park, taking your baby with you is no problem because you can also bring the mat. It’s a portable play area that’s easy to fold and lightweight enough to carry around.
They encourage hand-eye coordination
A play mat can help develop hand-eye coordination by encouraging your baby to reach, grab and point. This helps to train the brain to use visual information from the eyes to guide the actions of the hands. The process starts at about one or two months as a baby realizes that their hands are part of their body.
They encourage motor skills
Grasping is one of the fine motor skills and one of the essential development milestones that babies reach. At three and five months, the dangling toys in a play gym encourage babies to try to reach out and grasp them.
Keeping your baby busy is the best way to help with cognitive development. A play mat is perfect because it has plenty of lights, colors, textures, and sounds for your baby to interact with.
Useful for muscle development
When you first place a baby on their tummy on the mat, they start to use their neck and shoulder muscles, making them stronger. Your baby needs muscle strength to enable them to roll over and eventually crawl and sit up. A mat encourages movement, and this strengthens the muscles.
From what age can babies use play mats?
Some of the most versatile baby products you can get, they provide different benefits at different ages. You can start using play gyms as soon as your baby is happy to lie flat without being held.
- Newborn babies. From day one, your play mat is a safe area for your baby to chill out for short periods while your arms have a break! Your baby will enjoy the movement of dangling toys from the baby gym. Because babies cannot see too far in the distance, the toys must be close to their faces.
- Three months. This is when your baby will get the most from the play mat. You can place them on their tummy on the carpet for short periods, and they will start to explore.
- Four months. Around this age, your baby will begin to roll over, and a play mat is a safe place for them to practice this new skill!
- Six months. Your baby will be moving around the mat and reaching for toys. They will probably pull themselves onto all fours in readiness for crawling.
- Nine months and above. By this age, your baby will probably be crawling off the mat! They will think the play gym is boring and will be off to explore the rest of the house. However, by introducing new toys and activities onto the mat, you should be able to retain their interest for a few more months.
Ideas for baby play mat activities
Are you running out of ideas for baby playtime on the mat? We’ve got some great ideas for parents to try with their little ones.
Tummy time engages placing your baby on their tummy on the mat. Do this for short periods (just a minute or so) because not all babies like it at first. Put some toys within easy reach, or try singing or interacting with your baby.
Interactive baby play gym
Play gyms have dangling toys that often make sounds and have different colors and shapes. Motivate your baby to interact with the toys by moving them around yourself. Sing and talk to your baby and try taking off one of the toys and putting it in their hand.
Once your baby learns to roll, there are loads of movement games you can try that are a fun way to encourage movement. Move toys from one side to another. Put them close to your baby, then move them away and back again. Give your baby a round of applause when they roll over. Give your baby some time on their side and on their back, too, because once they start to move, they could find themselves in any of these positions, and this can come as quite a surprise.
Here top 5 best babies’ play mats
ZOSOE Double Sided Water Proof Baby Mat Carpet Baby Crawl Play Mat Kids Infant Crawling Play Mat Carpet Baby Gym Water Resistant Baby Play & Crawl Mat(Large Size – 6 Feet X 4 Feet) (C-6 X 4)
About this item
- Size: C-6 X 4
- Product Dimensions: 182.9L x 121.9W Centimeters
- Colour: Multicolour
- Pile Height: High Pile
- Brand: ZOSOE
RYLAN Double Sided Water Proof Baby Play Mat, Play Mats for Kids Large Size, Baby Carpet, Play Mat Crawling Baby (Extra Large Biggest Size – 6 Feet X 4 Feet ) (6 X 4)
About this item
- [Non-Toxic Play Mat] RYLAN baby mat is made of XPE material, non-toxic, BPA free, PAHS free, no polluting, and eco-friendly. Give you a perfect play environment for children.
- [Reversible & Folding] Double-sided theme playmat. Baby care play mat packed size 6 X 4 Feet. Save space and easy to carry, a double-sided theme playmat for infants, also can be used as a yoga mat.
A Baby Cherry Pop-Out Alphabet (A-Z) & Numbers (0-9) EVA Foam Non-Toxic Puzzle Play Mat. 36 Interlocking Tiles (Tile:12X12 Inch/36 Sq.feet Coverage) Thickness = 12 mm. Ideal for Baby, Kids, Multicolor
About this item
- Awesome Quality Play Mat – Made from soft, safe, and durable EVA foam, BPA Free, Phthalate Free, and Lead-Free. Excellent gift for day’s care, early education, imagination, creative games, visual sensory development, and hand-eye coordination in baby rooms, playrooms, playgrounds, etc.
- Lay The Right Foundation For Your Child’s First Steps! – Each tile is 12″ x 12″ with total coverage of 36 square feet. The large playmat is comfortable and supportive enough for tummy time, rolling, crawling and first steps, while soft enough to protect from those dreaded bumps and tumbles. Ideal to protect flooring from scratches in playrooms, exercise rooms, daycares, and schools. Perfect as a baby play mat, children’s play mat, or even a yoga mat.
Mammoth Baby Play Mat, Extra Large BPA Free Kids Crawling mat, Waterproof Foldable Floor Baby Crawling Mat Foam for Infants, Toddlers Use, Elephant, Giraffe Jungle Animals Multicolour, 195 X 150
About this item
- Super-Sized & Stylish: The extra-large size of the mat provides plenty of room for babies and parents together. The soft tone doesn’t stimulate the baby’s eyes sense, the cute pattern promotes encourages learning.
- Foldable: Our baby mat is a whole durable single piece which is foldable and easy to pack to save the room with the playing mat case. The super-easy-to-fold mat can be packed into a compact size and doesn’t take up much space to store.
Ehomekart – EVA Kid’s Interlocking Play Mat – 11 mm Thickness – Set of 8 Tiles – 62cm x 62cm Each Tile – 32 Square Feet Total Area(Multicolor)
About this item
- Number of Pieces: 8
- Age Range (Description): Kid
- Puzzle type: Jigsaw
- Theme: Numbers
- Brand: EHomeKart