Baby Play Mat Comparison
Arshiner Baby Kid Toddler Play Crawl Mat
Lollaland Play Mat Brave Blue
Infantino Peek and Play Tummy Time Activity Mat
Haba 301126 Little Frog Water Play Mat
Maboshi Baby Crawling Mat
Haba 301422 Little Town Water Play Mat
Mary Meyer Green Camo Bear Baby Mat
|Material||PVC||Polyester Fiber / Cellophane||100% Cotton Canvas + Nylon||OPP Film, |
|Fleece Fabric||Polyester Fiber||Polyester Fiber||OPP Film, |
|82.70 x 0.50 x 55.10||59.00 x 39.00 x 0.35||44.00 x 44.00 x 2.00||70.20 x 78.00 x 0.20||48.00 x 72.00 x 0.60||11.10 x 4.10 x 15.00||15.00 x 13.50 x 3.50||79.00 x 71.00 x 0.20||15.00 x 13.50 x 3.50||31.10 x 22.80 x 0.98|
|12||Limited Lifetime||12||12||12||12||1||1||1||Limited Lifetime|
Baby Play Mat Buying Guide
What is a Baby Play Mat?
There are two different types of play mats on the market: foam and fabric.
Foam play mats give the baby plenty of cushioning to protect your baby from bumping their heads on a hard floor. There are many different designs of foam play mats with plenty of colorful designs to keep your baby entertained.
The pros of a foam play mat are that they are not prone to bunching up the way fabric can and they are thick and comfortable with lots of cushion. Sometimes they may have an unpleasant odor at first so give them a chance to air out when you first open the package. Foam play mats are not as portable as fabric and don’t travel well.
With fabric mats, you will not have the thickness and cushion but you will have convenience of easy transport and they are very soft. They tend to bunch up when the baby moves around which can be annoying to the baby and the parent if the baby keeps ending up in a bunched up play mat.
Things to Look for in a Play Mat
Babies seem to prefer the play mats that have a lot of contrasting colors on them. They also love sensory items such as things that crinkle when they touch them or that rattle.
There are several things that you can look for when it comes to choosing a play mat for your baby. They don’t have terrific eyesight until they are about 6 months of age so choose bright colors that are contrasting to grab their attention, rather than mats with a lot of small details.
Remember that many baby products are geared to appeal to the parent, but they are not the ones who will be looking at the mat so try to look at the different designs from your baby’s point of view and look for designs that stand out.
Interlocking foam play mats are a good choice for travel since they can come apart and then be put back together wherever you travel to. If you will be putting the play mat down on a non carpeted floor, look for mats that have non skid backing to prevent excessive slipping.
Look for play mats that are at least twice the size of your baby’s body. This is going to be approximately 40” x 40”. This allows for plenty of movement as well as safety. You may find that once the baby is crawling, a foam play yard is better and will not bunch up under their little legs as they crawl. You will need to look at getting a play yard once they start crawling but you can put a play yard on top of a foam play mat and have a spectacular play place for your baby.
Think about what you want your baby to get from the mat you want to purchase. Do you want one with several interactive games for the baby to engage in? Is color and design the most important things for you? Decide what you want for your baby in the play yard and look for styles that have those elements present in the model you choose.
Using the Baby Play Mat Properly
The key to a happy, healthy baby is not leaving them in any one place for too long or too often. Baby play mats are wonderful but if the baby is left there for too long they can become over stimulated.
As your baby grows, their vision becomes sharper and they can take in more of the play mat toys and designs. They will also do well with play gyms that are set on top of the play mat. Once they start gaining more motor skills, they will start reaching for the interactive toys or the toys you lay on the mat for them. Never leave your baby unattended for any reason.
Where you can use the baby play mat
Some parents purchase two play mats, one that can be left at home and one that they csn travel with. It’s easy to set up; just lay it on the floor, put the baby’s toys on it and watch them enjoy themselves. Never put the play mat on top of a bed or table. This poses a major safety hazard to the baby and should be avoided.
If you choose to put the baby’s play mat in the living room or even in your office, it allows you to keep the baby close without having to hold them the entire time. A play mat doesn’t replace holding and cuddling.
This is an important need babies have and should not be over looked in their development, but it does allow you to have time to do things where you need both your hands such as cooking a meal, helping another child or doing a chore or two. Just be sure to never leave the baby alone on their play mat.
Cleaning your baby’s play mat
It is important that you keep your baby’s play mat clean. You need to clean it regularly and how you clean it will depend on the type of play mat you have purchased. It you chose a fabric play mat, cleaning it is super simple.
All you need to do is put it in the washing machine with other baby laundry and you’re good to go. It is better for most play mats that they air dry on a line and not be dried in the dryer.
If you have a foam play mat, keeping it clean is as simple as wiping it off carefully and making sure it remains in good condition with no tears, cracks or missing pieces. Check the foam pieces regularly for missing or torn pieces that the baby can rip off and then chew or choke on.
Even though the play mat will go on the floor, you need to make sure it stays clean and that animals are not permitted on it.
Play mats appeal to parents, both brand new and experienced. It doesn’t matter whether you want one for home use only or you intend to travel with it, there are many different options that you can choose from: Foam or Fabric, colors, themes, additional accessories, different sizes and much more.
With all of these choices available, having the information you need to make a good choice is paramount. Knowledge of baby play mats will prevent you from purchasing one you don’t like and having to go through the headache of sending it back. Looking at the things you want in a baby play mat before you purchase will help you get the right one the first time.
Play mats are a great baby item to get and you will find that you use it often to give your little one the exercise and tummy time that is so crucial to their good health and development. Choose one or even two that you feel your baby will enjoy, look for mats with a lot of accessories or visual activities and watch your baby flourish as they grow.