Baby Playmats and Play Gyms
There are so many reasons to use playmats for your baby. It’s good for their mental and physical development, it keeps them entertained, and fosters independence. From 3 months, your baby should be using a playmat every day!
Firstly, you’ll need to find a mat that suits you and your baby. We particularly like large, spacious, and padded mats, so your baby will have enough room to roll around. A large mat can also be used as storage when the baby is not using it! We also like baby play mats with lots of dangling toys, contrasting colours, and soft fabrics. The baby mat should be as exciting and stimulating as possible!
Now it’s time to start incorporating play gyms or mats into your routine. Start using the mat as soon as your baby is comfortable lying on their back. Even if your baby doesn’t interact with the new toys. they will still enjoy looking at all the amazing colours, interesting shapes, and different textures.
Newborn babies should start using the mat when they are ready for tummy time (which is almost immediately!). Start with short periods (around 5 minutes) each day and slowly work up to three 20 minute sessions.
By 4 months, your baby should be rolling over on its own. The dangling toys and bright colors encourage babies to hit milestones like this! At 6 months, your baby will start reaching for new toys in higher areas by rocking and getting on to all fours.
A few months later when your baby starts to crawl at around 9 months, it’s time to transition them out of the mat. The playmat has successfully done its job!
Read on to find out more about the benefits of using a playmat…
What is a Baby Playmat?
A playmat is essentially a comfortable blanket that is specifically designed to encourage exploration and development. The playmat will usually include detachable toys and a play gym. Toys, mirrors, teethers, and rattles will often be attached to play gyms.
Depending on your needs, you can just use the mat or you can assemble the gym for extra activities.
What is the Difference Between a Baby Play Gym and Play Mats?
A baby play mat is a comfortable place for your baby to play and move. A play gym has the same purpose, except it includes more stimulating activities (like sounds, shapes, and dangling toys).
Whatever type of mat you choose, it is guaranteed to help your baby fine tune their motor skills and help develop their senses. In addition, the fun activities will boost their knowledge of patterns, colours, and shapes, as well as stimulate their imagination.
What are the Benefits of a Baby Playmat?
There are so many amazing benefits of a baby playmat. These are some of our personal favourites…
Playmats give your baby the confidence to explore new things. Babies are prompted to touch new objects, play with new sounds, and move in different ways. All of these things make your baby more curious and resilient.
Play mats and gyms are designed by experts to encourage freedom of movement and experimentation. This freedom helps them make their own choices and gives them the courage to explore more of the world.
Hand Eye Coordination
At around 4 months your baby should be developing hand eye coordination. This is when they begin to simultaneously use their hands and their eyes. This is a big accomplishment for your little one. It’s when they start to learn they can pick things up, move objects with their hands, and eat!
A baby play mat helps your child to use their arms and reach out for the things they see. This is very important for a baby’s development!
Fine Motor Skills
Motor skills are the things we do everyday that we take for granted. Walking, sitting, standing, jumping, lifting, and kicking are all motor skills. A baby can’t do any of these things yet!
A playmat helps them learn by giving them something tempting to strive for. Their little fingers and legs grow stronger as they pull on some fabric or reach for a toy on their activity mat. Babies need to be encouraged to develop and grow!
Tummy time is one of the most important ways babies develop their fine motor skills. It helps their neck and shoulder muscle to grow stronger so they can start to crawl and walk! Tummy time can get boring for babies if they’re not entertained.
An activity gym or a playmat will give them things to look at and touch while fine tuning their motor skills!
Sensory stimulation is an activity that stimulates a child’s sense of touch, smell, taste, sight, movement, and hearing. On the activity mat, babies reach for the different toys and noises they think are appealing. In turn, this keeps them entertained and happy.
Muscle development and strength are key to a healthy, happy baby. You should introduce tummy time immediately after birth! It sounds crazy, but babies need to start developing their muscle and core strength as early as possible. A play mat gives babies a safe, comfortable, and stimulating place to do this!
Baby gyms provide invaluable entertainment to your baby. All you need to do is place them on the playmat or baby gym and leave them to it! Sounds like a parents dream! Of course, you need to keep a watchful eye on them, but you don’t need to be actively involved in the baby play. They can do it all by themselves! And the best part is, they actually love it!
Baby gyms are also easily transportable. Baby products are too often large and bulky. A playmat can be taken to a friend’s house, loaded into the car, or moved around the house! It doesn’t get better than that.
Tummy time is supposed to help your baby learn to crawl. The play mat and play gym encourage babies to move in new, interesting ways. In turn, their muscle strength will develop and they will eventually learn to crawl.
It’s important to stimulate babies while they are learning these things, otherwise they may just get frustrated and have a tantrum.
Newborns learn self discovery when they associate their mirror-image with themself. A playmat can help babies learn this invaluable skill, as many of them have small mirrors attached.
While on the activity mat, a baby will see their reflection and begin to associate it with themself. Hence, the process of self discovery begins.
Baby’s use playmats entirely on their own, they don’t need anyone else to play with. This is a great way for babies to learn how to be independent and self-sufficient. Babies need to feel comfortable on their own, without too much reliance on their parents.
Of course, a young child will always be reliant on their parents. However, babies need to start learning independent skills.
Believe it or not, playmate are also a fun way to help with your child’s cognitive development. They will learn visual perception, language skills, and two way communication (amongst other things) through the mat.
All of these things are essential in developing cognitive functions like memory, language, thinking, and reasoning. Playmats intrigue a baby’s mind and help it grow.
Critical thinking is an incredibly important skill for older children and adults! The best way to ensure your baby is an intelligent, thoughtful, and analytical person, is to start their intellectual development early! It’s never too young to start getting your baby to think through different scenarios, problem solve, and reach different hypotheses.
A playmat helps foster critical thinking skills by providing babies with a safe space to experiment with ideas, movements, and thoughts. They will learn to think critically about their mistakes, why their desired outcome hasn’t worked, and how to improve next time. Amazing stuff!
Those are the Reasons to Use a Playmat for Your Baby!
There are so many developmental benefits of using a playmat for your baby. Your baby will develop in strength, independence, curiosity, critical thinking, coordination, and memory. And that’s only just the beginning! Using a baby playmat is an easy, accessible way to help your child develop into the best version of themself.
You can purchase your new mat via Apple pay, debit card, or bank transfer.