Parents like you begin providing a comfortable life for your children even before they are born. You do a lot to prepare for the big arrival, from seeking baby cot setting inspiration to skimming through different social media accounts for nursery room décor ideas.
But while searching for items to add to their baby arsenal, you may have come across foam mats. Are foam activity mats for babies even necessary? A baby play mat is one of those essential baby items that no parents should miss.
You can’t keep your newborns curled up in your arms no matter how much you want to. However, rest confidently knowing that they are safely settled on the play mat and having a good time while you attend to your daily responsibilities. We’ll show you why foam mats are something you should purchase today.
The Benefits of Foam Play Mats for Infants
Parents and specialists agree that baby play mats are baby essentials. A floor mat can provide a plethora of developmental benefits. Not only can play mats help newborns develop cognitively, but they also help with:
- Gross motor development
- Reaching and grasping skills
- Sensory stimulation
- Visual perception
Furthermore, infant play mats can be adaptable! They are usually easy to clean and transportable for travel. They provide a natural barrier for your child’s play space.
A foam play mat is an important part of a baby gym. An infant’s reflexes dictate the majority of their behaviors. It means that when your baby is stimulated, they immediately react in a certain way without having much choice over its actions. A baby will instinctively grip whatever is put into their palms.
Encouraging a baby to grab objects like rattles suspended in a baby gym leads to the development of visual knowledge. A baby will start to recognize the objects they hold and create an understanding of how things work as they shake and play with toys. Throughout all this, your baby foam play mat will give you and your baby the necessary comfort and protection while they enjoy exploring their play area.
Activities Your Baby Can Do on Foam Play Mats
Foam play mats for babies support play time in various ways, but especially during physical activities that keep them occupied. The most common activities that babies can do on foam play mats are:
Tummy time is perfect for 3-month-old babies. At this age, a baby’s neck muscles begin to strengthen, allowing them to hold their head and chest up while lying on their tummy. As per doctors and other professionals, tummy time not only supports the strengthening of a baby’s arms, back, and neck, it also helps the progress of following areas:
- Gross motor skills such as rolling, crawling, and walking.
- Hand skills such as improving the muscles in the arches of the hands as the baby places weight on them.
- Visual skills since the eyes are trained to function together. Babies also have the chance to search for sharper colors, assisting and sharpening their vision.
- Speaking and eating skills as this strengthens the neck, supporting the jaw for talking and eating.
Furthermore, when babies spend more time on their tummies, it relieves pressure on the back of their heads, which is beneficial in preventing flat spots. A fun play mat can help while babies are warming up for tummy time. Foam play mats provide a cushioned surface for them to work on core balance and back and leg control.
Babies often begin crawling at 6 to 10 months. Parents need to provide a clean, cushioned surface for infant crawlers, walkers, and roamers during this time. Still, the baby foam play mats can be utilized well into the crawling phase and beyond. Its advantages in crawling practice are:
- As babies crawl towards various animals or symbols on the foam mat, they are testing and refining the depth of their awareness.
- Infants are safe from potentially harmful substances or materials found on indoor or outdoor surfaces.
- Play mats provide a more forgiving surface as newborns begin to lift themselves up and move about their play area.
Large play mats like Ashtonbee’s baby play mat give your babies plenty of space to roam. This play mat also fits perfectly when placed inside a fenced yard to keep them safe in one place while your attention is elsewhere.
The Qualities of the Best Foam Play Mat for Babies
Looking for the appropriate play mat that will suit your baby’s needs might be challenging for some parents, especially the first-timers. Play mats are also practical presents for first-time parents or anyone expecting a child. The best baby play mats should be comfortable, safe, and easy to clean. One of the factors to reflect on when purchasing a play mat is its safety.
Safety should be the top priority of every parent buying anything from toys to play mats. A play mat must also be smooth and provide the baby with extra padding. It should be soft to lessen the impact of unintentional stumbles. It is very normal for babies to fall unintentionally when they are on the play mat. It’s strongly advised to surround them with soft things and toys such as plushies, pillows, and dolls.
There are also thick, spongy play mats available, just like Ashtonbee’s Play Mat. Our play mat is also ideal for hard floors since it has a thick foam that protects small children from cold flooring and minor bumps.
Finally, our baby play mats are waterproof, so you can easily wipe off the dirt, making it very easy to clean.
Play mats are entertaining for babies from the time they are born until even after they can sit and crawl on their own. So, if you’re looking for a soft and comfortable place for your baby to play that will also keep them safe, a foam play mat is the perfect option. Be sure to consider the different qualities of the best play mats when making your purchase, and enjoy watching your little one explore and learn in their new environment.
Have you decided on which foam play mat is right for your baby? If not, visit our store and view our featured baby play mat now! Your child will love spending time playing on their very own soft and safe surface.