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Are baby play mats necessary?

Are baby play mats necessary?

Are you wondering... are baby play mats necessary? When it comes to your child’s safety it is important to have the facts. 

Are you wondering... are baby play mats necessary?

Baby play mats

When you first become a parent, it is very normal to start researching all the different stages of your baby’s development and the essential baby items you will need during this time. When it comes to your child’s safety it is important to have the facts.

To answer this question it is important to understand a few things first. What is a baby play mat? What type of play mat is best? Does my baby require an activity or gym mat too?

So, let’s start at the start…

What are baby play mats?

A playmat is a specifically designed floor mat made to provide safety for your baby. Baby play mats can be made from various materials including fabrics, carpets and various foams (more on this soon).

They are often called various names such as floor mats, kids mats, play gym or activity gym. But in it’s simplest form a baby play mat doesn’t include bars, attached toys or activities. It is a single surface which covers your floor.    

From only a few weeks old your baby will require tummy time to help strengthen core, back, neck and arm muscles. A play mat on your floor provides a soft and safe cushioned environment to interact with your baby while in tummy time.

What type of play mat is best?

baby play mat for girls

All materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Many people are drawn to beautiful cotton and linen play mats made from natural fibres. Unfortunately these are often small in size (only fit baby and not you too), are not waterproof so are regularly requiring laundering to remove all the delightful fluids your baby throws at it, and don’t have any memory foam core protection to provide cushioning from impacts such as falling. The TPU material used in our Freddy & Co baby play mats is a type of foam which is non-toxic, free from PVC, latex, BPA and other nasties.

Does my baby require an activity mat or gym too?

baby climbing frame

This one is a personal one and will depend on your family. However, they aren’t necessary.

A baby requires regular changes to their stimulation, otherwise just like you, they will get bored of staring at the same thing over and over - activity gyms usually come with the one set up.  A lot of play gyms which come with an included padded mat, also lack the necessary padding to cushion babies and can be made from slippery synthetic materials. 

A possible alternative option is to get a baby play mat and a gym wooden frame so that you can regularly change up the toys hanging to keep things interesting for both you and your baby.

So here is the big question..

Are baby play mats necessary?

blue baby play mat

The first part of this is safety and depends on your floors surface. As babies grow and develop they are constantly exploring their physical environment. Whether pushing up in tummy time, learning to sit or crawl, there will be times your baby falls. Knowing you have a soft, safe and cushioned surface under you baby can help at times like these.

Plus, a waterproof baby play mat also helps with cleaning. Some babies as they learn to move or even as their digestive system is developing can spit up quite regularly. This means fabric baby playmats can require regular washing, carpets can become stained and hygiene can become an issue. A play mat that can easily be wiped down can reduce the amount of laundry at a time when you’re faced with piles of it.

Do you already have a baby play mat? We’d love to know what kind you have and hear all your pros and cons!