Should You Buy a Baby Playmat?
Baby playmats are definitely worth the buy. If you are still on the fence about buying one for your little one, don’t be because buying a baby playmat is going to be one of the best decisions you will make. You would never know when you would be needing one but knowing that you have one can be handy. If you do not know what a playmat is, it is a playing surface usually made from soft materials. One thing to keep in mind when using a playmat is that you use it when your baby is away and under adult supervision. Never leave your baby alone on a playmat.
Playmats come in different types, sizes, colours and illustrations. Some playmats are designed for babies in mind. These playmats are softer and provide ample cushion to absorb impact from accidental stumbles and falls. Playmats made from foam and other soft materials are particularly good for babies. These are good playmats to put babies on during tummy time and when they start to learn how to crawl.
Some playmats even come with sensory toys. There are variants that come with mini-pianos and dangling toys that babies can try to reach and kick.
There are many reasons to buy a baby playmat. Babies need exercise and playmats are good baby accessories for that purpose. Tummy time is encouraged to prevent flat heads and to strengthen baby’s neck and shoulder muscles. When babies start to crawl, they need to practice lifting their bodies to develop arm and leg strength.
When to buy a playmat entirely depends on you. You can start using it from day 1 but most parents don’t start using a baby playmat until their babies are 3 weeks old. Initially, you would use a playmat as an added padding to provide cushion for your baby so she can easily adapt to life outside of the uterus. At around 3 weeks, you would start encouraging your baby to reach out to the object using her hands for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills exercises. Try offering her a soft toy by dangling it in front of her.
Once your baby starts playing with her toys, you need something to protect her from dust, germs and bacteria that are normally found on floors. You want a playmat so that your baby can safely play with her toys and develop her skills. Remember that babies are natural explorers and they love to crawl and explore the world around them. Providing them with a clean and safe play environment should be at the top of your list. You can encourage them to explore more and make their own discoveries. This will boost their confidence and they learn more about themselves and their surroundings. If you are worried about accidental bumps and falls, you can surround your baby with soft toys like dolls and plushies. Play with her on a playmat during her play time and teach her about colours, numeracy, animals and more.
Next Up: What Are the Benefits of a Playmat?