When it comes to helping your child’s physical development in the first few years of life, a baby play mat is one of the most important products out there. They become useful almost immediately you get home.
Cradling and curdling are most important for the baby in the first few days and weeks of life but soon, the child will need more than that. That is exactly where the baby play mat comes in.
The role of the baby play mat is significant. One of its most important functions is the encouragement of free movement and play.
It is only when the baby moves and plays that most physical developments happen the right way. There are so many reasons why we believe every baby needs a play mat.
The baby play mat works in several ways to get your child moving and we will explore these different ways here:
A Fun Space for the Baby
Most grownups have areas of the house they enjoy as their corners. Parents and big brothers and sisters often have their own spaces in the home and the baby has just the cradle to call his/her own.
No one cares or think about how this makes babies feel. Well, we generally assume they have no feelings yet, so this is not an issue.
It is a great idea to have extra space for the baby and that is exactly what the play mat serve as. Even in a small and buy home, the baby play mat creates a space the little one can fully claim as his/her own.
This is the space the child is free to do whatever he/she wants to do.
Since the cradle is always too small to let the child move and play freely, the baby play mat provides the right area for the baby and this encourages movement and play.
A Safe Environment for the Little One
As parents, it is normal that we fear for the safety of our children more than anything else. Most parents cannot take the risk of leaving an active baby unattended in most places.
It is only reasonable that we have that space in our home where we can comfortably keep the little one and not feel guilty about it. Baby play mat serves as that place.
Though we assume they know very little, babies also realize that the play mat is a safe zone to move around and play.
Once they start spending some times in their play gyms, most babies get used to them.
They realize that the mats represent the safest place to move as much as they can.
They also learn that it is safe to interact with the features of the play mat and this is often a huge encouragement for them.
The Right Surface for Tummy Times
The importance of tummy times cannot be overemphasized. For a child to keep up with most developmental milestones, he/she will have to get enough tummy time.
Tummy time, by the way, is the time babies stay on their stomach while awake. It is recommended that babies have tummy time every day.
Tummy time will strengthen the neck muscles and other important muscles for movements like rolling, crawling, and pulling to stand.
While it is possible to give your baby tummy time on your chest or across your laps, the baby play mat remains the best surface for this all-important physical activity.
It is possible that your baby will not like tummy time in the very beginning. When this is the case, give your baby tummy time on your chest for a while before switching back to the baby play mat.
It is the surface a lot of important developments will be recorded.
Toys and Features That Encourage Movement and Play
Baby play mats are not just bland surfaces that the baby can spend time safely. They have several features that the baby will find helpful.
According to the way they are designed, some have patterns that will capture the attention of the baby and have them moving excitedly even during tummy time.
Besides the features that are directly on the mat, most play mats come with hanging toys that will be beneficial to the baby in different ways.
In addition to the toys that some baby play mats come with, you can add some toys your baby love to encourage movement and play on the mat.
Some interactive toys will keep the baby properly engaged, encouraging them to reach out to hit or grab them.
They will play with most toys even when an adult is busy with some home chores, though you need to monitor your baby closely.
To further encourage your baby to move, you can place toys on the mat a little away from the child so that he/she has to move to grab it.
A Safe Place for the Child to Try and Fail
Children learn to move by trying and failing till they master the necessary skills. It is not safe to let your baby learn to move on a hard surface.
Some babies will become afraid of trying when they fail often and feel pain from falling. The baby play mat offers the right surface for the baby to learn different kinds of movements from crawling to standing and walking.
Felling on the baby play mat will not hurt your baby. The comfort and safety offered by the play gym encourage the baby to try again and again till he/she becomes confident.
Even when a child has learned to move freely, the baby play mat will continue to serve as a great surface to try out some infant adventures.
Imagine a child learning to climb on a hard surface. A fall can be terrible. A Climber can be placed on top of a baby play mat.
Learning such adventurous skills as climbing is much safer on a play mat. A fall will not deter the child from trying again.
A good, comfortable and safe play mat is unarguably a great investment for your baby. Primarily, it serves as a safe surface for the child to play.
It encourages children to move and play freely, which is essential for physical development. This is just one of several other benefits offered by play mats.