Are you looking for a baby gym for your little one? You do not know how to choose between the products offered on the market? We don’t think about the importance of baby activity mat in the evolution of the child, but it is a most important accessory!
Intended for play, it will help your child to flourish while practising awakening activities, it will stimulate his thinking, his reflexes, and his understanding at an early age.
Some studies have even appeared recently, highlighting that children who have had an evolutionary awakening mat or not during their childhood, have a more open mind. Even if purchases such as a travel cot, a bottle warmer or even a baby carrier appear to be a priority in baby equipment,
Many models are available on the market, musical, evolutionary, baby, boy or girl activity mats and you do not know how to make your choice? This is completely normal and that is why we are offering in this article a selection of the best baby gyms present on the market according to us as well as a small buying guide to assist you in your choice.
What is the best baby gym?
When it comes to your children, of course, you are going to want the best product. It is important for every parent to know that he is offering good quality and care to your little one especially in such an important and decisive stage for their growth as the first months of life.
To help you in this important purchase, we offer you more information regarding this tool that can not be missing in your home and that will surely be essential for you.
Baby Gym Disney Baby Mr. Ray Ocean Lights Activity Gym
This model is designed for the use of children from 0 to 24 months. It is made of cloth and includes hanging plush toys designed to stimulate your muscles and brain, such as a bell, various hanging toys and a small mirror.
It is also adjustable and oversized, which provides comfort in the cushion and a variety of textures. Machine washable and easy to fold and carry!
Play Mat Skip Hop Baby Gym
It has a classic design, easy to combine and unisex, so you can get it even before knowing the sex of your baby. It is quite light, so it will not be a problem when transporting.
It includes five heavenly hanging toys with colourful LED lights, music and other stimuli with which you can interact while being comfortable on your back or upside down.
Baby Gym Fisher-Price Activity Centre
Thanks to a brand of quality and reputation that supports it and its good price, this model has positioned itself as one of the great favourites of the clientele. It incorporates a piano that the baby can play from 3 different positions.
In turn, the piano has two options: short-term or long-term music. Also, the piano lights are illuminated and turned off.
Baby Gym Ludi – Save Play Mat
It is quite affordable and safe because it has padded and high pillows to prevent the baby from getting out. This brand specializes in child care and has a history, so you know it is high quality.
It is a beautiful piece that can accompany your child in its growth, and that has pads and removable bow. It is lightweight, padded and with unisex motifs.
Jungle Fisher-Price baby gym
The Fisher Price play mat is an activity baby gym. It includes more than 10 educational toys and is, therefore, a real gold mine for babies! Real simulation tool, it makes music, lights offer many colours, its elements will be triggered when the baby moves on the mat. The volume is fortunately adjustable.
This baby gym has a small removable toucan that your toddler can carry everywhere with him, as well as a 20-minute autonomy of music. It has three play modes for awakening: either lying on your back, lying on your stomach or in motion. This awakening mat is easily foldable and transportable, because it is thin, for against small flat its arches do not come apart and its transport can prove to be complicated or even bulky.
The hanging surface on the arch has various heights and in the centre a luminous object that makes music is hung, this will push the baby to want to go pick it up and therefore to promote its mobility. Its jungle theme is particularly appreciated by children as well as parents and measures 77 x 82 x 69 cm.
Activity Gym Play Mat with Ball Pit – Quickdraw
If you are looking for the least expensive of the market, this is ideal and most economical, whose design includes marine motifs within the colourful baby gym that stimulates the baby’s sensory development.
Includes stuffed animals like vibrating fish or other musical and with lights, plus a ball pit with 30 colourful balls. It also has an easy storage folding design that is ideal for your trips.
Tiny Love Dynamic Gymini Baby Play Mat
Here is a baby play mat from the brand Tiny Love, recognized as being one of the best activity gyms on the market. It is reserved for babies from 0 to 12 months mainly and is progressive between these months: from 1 to 3 months, your child will lie on his back and thanks to the cushion he will be kept in the right position, from 3 to 5 months he can lie on his stomach to play with the accessories provided on the mat and push to try to raise his head and neck.
Finally, up to 12 months, he can have fun with all the elements of the gym like the little interactive plush monkey, bright and musical or the toys hung on the ark in the low position so that they catch them.
What is a baby gym?
This item is ideal for babies from the first months of life because it is a padded mat that is a protective factor between your baby and the floor because it allows you to be comfortable while you are playing there or doing any activity lying or crawling.
This protection translates into tranquillity for the mothers because they do not expose the small and vulnerable body of the child directly to the bacteria that can be found on the floor or to the hardness of the surface that can harm the child’s body or simply be very uncomfortable, not only because of the hardness but also because of the cold that normally concentrates on it.
Playmats for babies or gym can vary from the simplest to contain certain accessories that will enhance the experience of the child. For example, some that do justice to their name, including hanging toys of different shapes and colours, mirrors, stuffed animals and other things that may have music, a play of light or sounds with which children can interact directly through their look or both upper and lower extremities.
These extra accessories are very good because, in the opinion of experts, can result in educational objects because they can help the baby to develop the ability to concentrate and help you learn to pay attention to a fixed goal or several, intervening in the child’s learning process from an early age. All this is very good in the early life stage of the little one.
This search may be a bit overwhelming while you find the ideal model of baby mat that your child needs because you will find many options that vary among themselves but not too much. They can change the materials, the colours, a little the design and even if they include accessories or not and what would be those accessories that can be from toys to a set of pillows.
Another complication that could be succinct during this search is that these mats can be found in a variety of different names even if in the end they all have, normally, the same objective. One of the examples we can give you is that they often refer to these items as a baby gym, baby play mats, baby mats, activity play mat, baby activity gym, play mat, and the list can become even more extensive. The important thing is that you know that all these names refer to the same object that you are looking for your baby.
At what age you should use a baby gym?
The manufacturers rightly believe that a child can go on a bay gym from birth, and they are right, but it is all about the middle ground. In fact, if you start putting your child on an activity mat after 2 weeks, it should not be left on it for too long.
The first few weeks, the child needs to sleep a lot, and the baby gym does not appear to be essential. He can play it for 10 or 15 minutes. Remember to put it on when he is awake. He will thus be able to more easily discover all the activities present on the activity mat.
A little later, your child can stay there much longer, and so they can have fun for 1 hour with all the activities available.
Benefits of baby gym
The activity mat has many benefits for the child. This toy often surmounted by an arch with hanging toys is made up of different elements of multiple materials, sounds and colours to awaken the child to a maximum of stimuli. An baby gym is a place where your baby can move around on his own, allowing him to discover his body and interact with the world around him.
- Duration of use: The awakening mat can be used from birth and will accompany your child throughout his development until he can walk. Lying first on the belly, or on the back, your baby will learn to turn around, crawl, roll, sit and finally stand up.
- Cognitive development: The awakening mat is a complete game promoting sensory development. Your baby is able from the first weeks to understand that he can have an action on the objects present on his awakening mat. It will, therefore, be important to favour an activity mat offering different toys (stuffed animals, rattle, mirror, etc.) to stimulate your baby as much as possible.
- The development of vision: The awakening mat allows the development of visual perception. The different colours will catch your child’s eye and make it easier to observe. Your baby will also need to take a fair look at the objects he wants to grab which helps develop a precise vision.
- Development of motor skills and coordination: The activity mat helps the baby’s movements. In order to reach the objects placed on his baby gym, your child will have to raise his head, extend his arm, turn around, crawl. His psychomotor development will thus be encouraged. The touch will also be optimized thanks to the elements of different textures and uses: flaps to lift, lint to catch, rattle to shake.
- Safety: The playmat is a secure play area that allows your child to play in complete autonomy while allowing you to keep an eye on him. You can also place the play mat in the back of your child’s playpen so that he has fun in a safe space.
How to choose the best baby gym?
Although the variety available on the market is great, all are treated the same: cushioned mats for the comfort of your baby on the floor. In this sense, there are some things that you want to keep in mind about activity mats for babies.
The activity mats and gyms for baby are important for the development of your child in various stages and areas, as we have already advanced you before. But, in addition, they are of great use and tranquillity for the parents because it implies a safe place in which to place your baby even when it is out of your arms or from the cradle.
What determines this feature is if your carpet is padded or not and if it is enough. Remember that the main objective of this product is to offer comfort to your child when lying down or in any position on the floor. A padded mat will be a good idea to increase the comfort of your baby, thinking about this you should avoid then the models that are very thin or that are made with very hard materials so you do not hurt your joints or your bones. It is, in fact, advisable to include a pillow of the head to increase the comfort of the child.
This should not move by itself or roll on the floor, much less if your baby is on it because it would represent a great danger. Look for models that do not slide no matter how smooth or polished the floor on which the blanket will be placed.
As it is an article that will be in contact with the baby and that is related to playful activities, it is best to opt for bright, vivid and vibrant colours that are striking. These are ideal for keeping your baby’s attention on them and for their entertainment.
This has to do with this baby gym can offer an important diversity of activities to your child while he is on it. This can only be offered by the accessories that are included in the baby gym model you are choosing. The variety of activities or textures helps the child want to stay on the mat and, in addition, it is proven that it can contribute to the development of the baby’s auditory, visual and tactile senses while playing.
If there is something that stimulates the baby a lot, it is the sounds, so having a set of sounds or musical effects on the baby gym mat will be ideal. Parents often sing to your children or make sounds to keep them attentive and distracted, but when they are tired or need to do some other activity, having automatic sounds can be very helpful. As well as it will help you to know that your child is active, the sounds are evidence of it.
It has been discovered that the use of mirror games is a great way to encourage a baby to turn forward or backwards, and even to crawl from one side to the other. Therefore, it is not surprising that many models of baby play mats contain some mirrors and it is even recommended that they have them. They can even be detachable to place them anywhere else.
This is very important because you have to remember that this rug is designed both in its configuration and the use that is going to give, as space on which your baby will be able to move. This means that this activity mat must have adequate size to allow this. That is, if it is the same size as the child or very fair, it will not be good for the child to move and adopt other positions. Although we are suggesting that you choose a large model, there is also the factor of space in which you will place it. A gym that is too large will be complicated to have in a small space.
It is good to keep this in mind because a game rug could not only be used on the surface of your home, but it can be ideal to transport the comfort of your child wherever you go. A folding and portable model makes it easier to carry different areas inside and outside your home. There are models that are rolled in a very simple way and are very light to transport on your own or in your car. There are even models that include a transport bag in the package.
We know that a damp cloth is not always the best cleaning routine for these objects that are in total contact with your child. Especially because we talk about which children in their first months of life will be in contact with him and his immune system may not be optimally developed. So, what you need is that your activity map can be placed without problems in the washing machine to undergo a deep cleaning without the material deteriorating in the short term and that is flexible but with enough resistance to take its original form.
There are many of these mats that have certain textures that can be of great benefit to the body of your baby as long as they are not too marked until they become uncomfortable. It has even been proven that one of the simplest ways to stimulate your baby is through texture, so that some corrugated toys or a somewhat diffuse but smooth surface, could make a difference.
We are talking about an object that will be in constant contact with the little ones. Remember that babies do not control their movements very well and could lick and pinch the gym and this should not represent a greater risk. The best thing in these cases is to make sure that the mat is made with non-toxic materials, which are not questionable in terms of the health and well-being of the child. In fact, there are so many offers available in the market that there are even very good organic options of game mats for your peace of mind and your child’s safety.
In addition to the material of the gym itself, remember that the baby will also be interacting with the accessories you have. This is about many toys and related objects that your child probably places in his mouth. Not because it’s a fun article for your child means that it should not be safe. Check that none of these are too small and put at risk the health and life of your children, should not be a threat to them or generate choking hazards.