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A tummy time mat is an important tool that can help your baby develop strong muscles and coordination. It is also a fun way for your baby to play and explore! Read on for our top tips on how to use a play mat safely and effectively.
Tummy time is a great way for your baby to engage his or her body and develop important skills like controlling their head, neck, back muscles. It also prevents them from developing flat spots on the back of their heads. However, tummy time can be quite challenging for babies because they don’t always enjoy it; thus causing them to fight it. A play mat gives them the support they need throughout their workout and keep their interest.
Types of Tummy Time Mats
There are many different styles of mats out there! You should choose the one that best suits your baby’s needs and preferences. Some popular types include: cloth mats or play gyms that have attachments or activities integrated in a way. Some play mats have attachments like a mirror and light-up musical toys. There are also mats that keep the baby’s interest so that they want to try to look at things and practice raising their head.
Best Tummy Time Mats
The play gym by Lovevery has been a favorite activity mat among parents and physical therapists, thanks to its variety of activities that develop motor skills.
It has 5 Montessori inspired development zones, and includes an organic ball and teether, a sustainable wood batting toy, and 4 interchangeable learning card sets. This makes it perfect for different stages of your baby.
Another great tummy time mat is the Baby Einstein Caterpillar & Friends Activity Gym, which has a canopy with various dangling toys, perfect for visual stimulation. It’s lightweight and is machine washable, which makes it easy to take with you when out for a while or to Grandma’s house.
This comfy mat is the Sassy STEM Developmental Play Gym. It comes with a lot of extras for tummy time activities like 3 high-contrast attachable toys (rattle, squeaker, bear plush), a removable rainbow chime, a prop pillow, and much more!
We love this water mat by Splashin’kids, which can provide so much fun and entertain your little one while working on those neck muscles. It is great on its own but can be placed in many rooms or places. You could add it to a play gym as well.
It is recommended for older babies ages 3 months and up. You will the edge with air and the center with water. It is secure, water shouldn’t leak. There is a plastic smell in the beginning, so air it our first!
Things to Look for in Tummy Time Mats
There are many features that contribute to the functionality of tummy time mats.
Attachments. They are great to also use them as toys on the go or have your baby look up and explore different shapes and colors. A mirror is a popular extra for play gyms because babies are fascinated by them. Rattles and other toys are also great if they are included in a set and can be attached.
Cushioning. It is more fun if it is comfy right? But even if you choose a mat without much cushioning, you can always place it on a nice cosy blanket or mat.
Washable. You want to be able to either wipe it or machine washable. Babies drool and they will do it on the mat as well. Look for something that can easily be cleaned to make your life easier.