Tummy Time Session: Suggestions for Choosing a Play Mat for Your Little One

As early as the first few weeks of life, mats for play become a valuable accessory for fostering sensory experiences and promoting motor skill development. They’re more than just a stylish addition to your nursery décor. They provide a comfortable surface for your baby to explore and develop their upper body and neck muscles during tummy time sessions, which are generally advised starting at one to two months of age.

How to Choose the Best Play Mat?

baby playing on a play mat
source: pinterest.com

Knowing how important this type of baby item is, use a soft and supportive play mat to give your little one a safe and comfy spot to stimulate all their senses, while encouraging their physical, cognitive, and sensory development and ensuring their utmost safety. However, in a market flooded with countless baby mats and baby products, it’s no surprise that getting the best can be overwhelming. To choose right, there are some crucial factors to take into account when shopping.

Consider Different Fabrics

Breathable cotton is the perfect fabric choice for your baby’s first play mat, offering a soft and comfortable surface for their early interactions. This mat is also incredibly soft, providing your infant with a cosy yet encouraging space to explore and hone their motor abilities.

Organic cotton options, on the other hand, stand out for their practicality, being conveniently machine washable, and offering a delightful sensory experience with an embedded rattle toy, which contains crinkly paper and a rattle inside. Additionally, you can purchase coordinating baskets for a stylish and organized play area and use these play mats as couch covers or baby blankets.

When your child gets older and begins to crawl at the age of six months or more, you might want to think about getting a bigger baby mat to provide them more room to play and more padding. Foam alternatives are the perfect option for this period. When buying foam designs, however, parents must use caution though, as the majority of the possibilities are synthetic foams that are marketed without safety certificates, which can cause off-gassing and the production of volatile chemicals that are poisonous. The health and well-being of your infant could be at risk from these dangerous compounds, particularly if the environment is poorly ventilated.

Unfortunately, synthetic foams, which are advertised as “safe,” “non-toxic,” and “certified to not contain certain toxins,” make up the great majority of mats available on the market. These mats release volatile organic chemicals like phthalates and formamide, which are hazardous and may cause cancer, even if the brand claims the opposite, so choose carefully.

Safety Is Important

When it comes to infants and small children, safety always comes first. Babies may safely explore their surroundings and minimise the chance of harm thanks to floor mats’ soft, cushioned surface, which also lessens the impact on their developing bodies as they roll, sit, and toddle. Providing your child with a soft, safe space to play helps soothe your anxiety as they grow from a lovable newborn to an inquisitive crawler to a self-assured toddler.

Pick the Right Size and Thickness

Your infant should be able to roll over, move around, and fit a baby play gym on top of the mat. Additionally, as your infant learns to sit and stand, it should be thick enough to absorb any falls. Moreover, you should sure the chosen design fits in the space by considering where you will use it—whether it be in the nursery or the living room.

Make Sure It’s Easy to Clean

Babies are messy, so buy play mats that are easy to wipe clean. Some mats are machine washable, while others can be wiped down with a damp cloth. Pick a mat that is soft, durable, and easy to clean. Most mats are constructed of foam, rubber, or layered cloth. While the most mess a 6-month-old might make is some spit up when you introduce food, believe us, it will get everywhere! For the early months, many parents choose a soft linen mat; when they need a non-porous surface that is stain-resistant and easy to clean, they switch to a padded foam mat.

Choose the One that Fits Your Décor

These days, a lot of the mats and baby gyms on the market are colourful and multi-coloured. Nonetheless, few manufacturers concentrate on creating mats as well as baby gyms that complement your interior design while primarily utilising neutral colour schemes. While many toys are colourful and eye-catching, your foam mat may also be fashionable with subdued hues, letting your baby focus on their developmental toys while also looking good in photos.

Don’t Forget Versatility

Although the majority of infants and kids love to play with their toys while seated on the floor, we know that as parents you want to protect them from dust and other contaminants, which is why you should consider how versatile the mat you’re about to get is.

Good quality mats can be used on top of your current carpet, tile, stone, or hardwood surface. You can even use them outside for a playdate in the park or garden. In addition to shielding your children from chilly, hard floors, the thick, spongy foam floor mats offer a cushioned landing for any spills, tumbles, and bumps.

Mia Hadson

Mia is a passionate blogger. Her obsession with beauty, health and shopping started young. Her philosophy is based on simple things, regardless of whether it is about applying makeup, decorating a room or cleaning a home. She believes simplicity is the basis of beauty and she implements this ideology in all spheres of her life.