When To Start Using Baby Activity Mat? (Explained)
Everyone has the same query, especially moms that when to start using baby activity mat because play mats are one of the best first baby toys because they provide a safe, and clean surface for babies at home or on the go and provide entertainment that promotes development.
Our chosen decorative mat print features colorful letters and animals for age-appropriate learning and laughter, and the baby play mat foam itself is hypoallergenic, BPA-free, water-resistant, and easy to clean. This is perfect for when your baby is lying down, creeping, crawling, rolling, tumbling, or playing because this is a safe and versatile toy.
What is a Baby Play Mat?
An activity mat, otherwise some call it a playmat, is a soft and smooth surface with some additional features that make them excellent for toddlers to play, learn, and crawl. Mostly, they’re designed to absorb most of the impact from a fall, ensuring they are safe for kids learning to walk.
Some activity mats also come with play gyms, which are more playful for your baby because that comes comprise arches with toys hanging around them. The combo pack of an activity mat and a play gym makes an excellent playroom for your little one, making them globally popular.
Frankly, activity mats usually have lots of contrasting letters with colors, shadows, shapes, and other figures to stimulate your baby. Also they incorporate activity-based sounds to help your little one perform recurring tasks.
The purpose behind an activity mat is to help your baby play and learn at the same time, which confuses new moms. Since the right age to start learning doesn’t exist, when should a baby start to use an activity mat?
I hope throughout this post, you will learn some of the key features of an activity mat and when you should introduce it to your little one.
When to Start Using Baby Activity Mat?
Without hesitation start using a baby mat as soon as your newborn is comfortable lying on their back. Might your little one not interact with it yet, but looking at the dangling toys is a fun activity during their alert time. Once you introduce tummy time at 3 months of age babies get the most from play mats. Limit periods to five minutes at a time, begin with three short daily sessions and work your way up to an hour of tummy time a day.
The baby will likely start rolling over at 4 months old. With the aid of dangling toys, your baby put effort to reach and eventually sit up by the time they’re 6 months old. Your baby will also practice getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth to reach the different toys.
By the time your little one is 9 months old, they could begin crawling. Usually crawling is a marker that your baby has outgrown their play mat. They go explore the rest of the room because they might get bored on the mat. It doesn’t mean you should completely demolish the play mat, but don’t force your baby too much to stay on it. Think about upgrading it with new adventures toys and activities, since it’s still a good way of developing important cognitive and motor skills.
How to Choose the Best Activity Mat for Your Baby
Wondering about buying an activity mat for your baby, there are some factors to consider to make sure that you’re buying the best one for your little one. Here we explained some key things to keep in mind to get the best mat for your money and for your baby too.
Talking about one of the key functions of an activity mat is to be visually stimulating and aesthetically pleasing. If the play mat only consists of bland colors, it will look pretty uninteresting. You don’t want the little one to cry whenever it’s tummy time, do you?
If you’re wondering about buying an activity mat, you should always try to choose one that will look the most interesting and adventurous to your little one. Since you are choosing for your baby, you should endeavor to choose colors with very high contrast. Whether they may not necessarily look interesting to you, keep in mind it’s a baby activity mat, not a mum activity mat.
This is the major factor to consider when buying anything, including activity mats for your child, is if it poses any safety hazards. Moreover, there are certain types of materials commonly used in making activity mats for babies but are quite bad.
The material you should especially look out for is called Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which is a well popular and cheap synthetic polymer commonly used in making activity mats for babies. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most toxic synthetic polymers on the market right now, with its popularity owing mainly to its low cost.
It’s always a great thought to avoid PVCs entirely.
If the activity mat comes with dangling toys, then you should confirm that the toys contain no tiny parts before letting your baby play with them. Since most babies love putting everything in their mouths, the tiny parts of toys will eventually go in there, too.
What are the Advantages of a Baby Play Mat?
A play mat for baby is a must-have item for various reasons:
Play mats are easy to fold, portable, and lightweight. You can set it up at a friend’s house or at the park to keep baby busy and happy.
The supportive foam and comfy soft texture help your newborn feel safe. Your little one can practice sitting up and rolling over away from hard surfaces.
Freedom of Movement
A play mat offer more space than your bassinet or infant’s crib. It allows them to roll around the house, kick, and scoot with much more freedom, encouraging exercise. This freedom of movement gives them independence to make their own choices especially for enjoyment.
Sense of Touch
Baby gyms use plastic, fabrics, different textures, and soft toys to encourage babies to touch and explore. Mostly, newborns are curious, and their sense of touch is a crucial way for them to interact with the world.
Play mats offer the stimulation they need through sounds, lights, bright colors, and textures. There is always something that make your child’s alert time more stimulating, that thing will grab their entire attention.
Motor skills – Grasping is a key development milestone that your little one should reach between the ages of 3 and 5 months. Fortunately, dangling toys encourage your baby to reach and grab them.
This exercise is a different one from the rest of others so it will take a while for your newborn to develop hand-eye coordination. A play mat provides this coordination because there is always something different to interact with.
Tummy time helps with shoulder, neck, and back muscle development. Before your little one can roll over, sit up, crawl, and walk, they need to develop these muscles first. A play mat helps by offering a comfy space where your baby can stay on their tummy and perform a wide range of movements to interact with the adventure’s toys.
A baby play mat offers learning and fun
A play mat encourages your little one to explore their surroundings. Also, it keeps them busy with sounds, textures, lights, toys, and more. It’s an exciting way of bonding with your baby, it also helps to promote motor skills, and encourages muscle development. There are a wide array of play mats on the market these days, it would be easy to pick out one that matches your little one’s personality.
From tummy time to teaching your little one some independence, the advantages of having a baby play mat are endless. They also offer some space for the parent to finish the household chores. Finally, make sure you get a baby play mat for your little tot within the first few months for you both to enjoy the perks.
Superyard® Folding ABC Play Mat
The age range of a baby activity mat for tummy time is right around 3 months. Because this is just the time a baby starts to develop stronger neck muscles to support their head and chest while lying on their stomach. Also, you can add some toys to make it more enjoyable for the baby, if your little one doesn’t like tummy time exercise.
3 Advantages of Baby Play Mats For Tummy Time Are:
- As they look for sharper colors it helps and improves their vision.
- Helps to provide a cushioned surface while they develop trunk stability and control in their back and legs (rolling over is not too far away!).
- As they turn their head to look around it refine their neck strength.
Generally, babies start to crawl at around 6-10 months, and also from there they’re off to the races! Parents can use baby play mats for a long period of time into the crawling phase and beyond because they offer a clean, cushioned surface for new crawlers, walkers and roamers.
3 Advantages of Baby Play Mats for Crawling Are:
- Improving and testing depth perception as they crawl or walk towards different animals or letters on the mat.
- Secure your babies from unsafe substances on indoor or outdoor surfaces.
- Offers a more forgiving surface as babies start to lift themselves up and move around their play area.
Our extra large size padded play mats give new crawlers lots of room to roam. To add, they also fit perfectly inside a play yard to keep your curious baby safely within eyesight and out of the dangerous ways while your focus is elsewhere for a minute.
In the end, Hopefully, you find this article helpful? We’d love to hear any other query you have about when to start using baby activity mat, feel free to share with us in the comment section. We’d like to hear your opinions.
About the Author Wendy Parker
I am a nurse and also a mother of two kids and as a mother, I know how difficult is caring. With over 5 years of experience in this field, motherhood is difficult after pregnancy that’s why I’m here I would love to use this platform to help you out to achieve a best caring schedule.