Activity mats, bouncers and swings are fun spots for your baby to chill while you answer the phone, use the bathroom or make dinner. You can use the best baby play mat from day one, but babies between three to six months old love it the most. During this stage, your baby is developing hand-eye coordination, so grasping for the dangling toys is good practice. Once your baby starts to crawl, they’ll move on to other toys.
A playmat offers a variety of visuals, sounds and textures, whereas most swings and bouncers may only have one or two small plush toys. And playmats are perfect for tummy time, which helps babies Strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles, Develop motor skills, Prevent getting a flat head.
Top 10 best baby play mat 2021
Play mats are helpful pieces of gear for a new baby. These multi-functional mats can be used for tummy time, development, or creating a safe place for a new baby-to-be. It is advised that alert and awake newborns and infants can play on their tummies two to three times a day for three to five minutes each time.1 This position can help babies develop strength in their neck, back, and arm muscles. Babies should never be left alone on a play mat. Here are the best baby play mat for you.
1. Stage-Based and Sustainable Baby Activity Gym & Play Mat
This machine-washable double-sided play mat made of organic voile and soft poly-fill is a monochromatic favorite. The play mat is 40 x 40 inches and comes with a drawstring bag for easy storage. Appropriate for newborns on up, this mat is cushy and plush enough to be used on a wood floor and still provide plenty of comfort for a baby. While it looks beautiful and is well-made, this is a non-traditional play mat that is best suited for a younger baby’s interest.
2. Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Gym.
This activity gym skips the primary color palette and instead uses sublter colors that blend in more easily with most decor. There’s a crisscross bar overhead with five plush toys attached (including one that plays lullabies) and lots of varied textures and colors that encourage development. There’s also a cloud pillow just right for tummy time. Don’t mind something brighter? Skip Hop’s Treetop Friends activity gym is another popular pick we like.
3. Skip Hop Vibrant Village Smart Lights Baby Play Gym
A colourful mat with 4 reversible sensory hanging toys, a dog-shaped tummy-time pillow and light-up, musical arches. Requires 3 AA batteries.
The bold graphics are gorgeous, and the light-up arches are enchanting (we particularly like the ‘tracking’ mode where your baby can follow the lights as they light up one by one). The sausage-dog tummy time pillow is a good size and has lovely crinkle ears.
4. Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Play Gym
The Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Play Gym is a really good basic baby jungle gym. The featured piano has both lights and sounds and can be used in a few different ways. It can be kicked when baby is on their back, it can be pushed with hands during tummy time, or it can be rotated upright and played like a regular piano on legs for when baby can sit up. As if that weren’t enough, you can take the piano off and drag it around for some mobile concerts. If your baby prefers to just enjoy music, you can play music on the piano for up to 15 minutes, and you can control the volume. The batteries last a long time, too!
5. Infantino Grow with Me Playtime Teepee Gym
Every child, boy or girl, loves a den. Which is why Infantino’s teepee play mat is such a worthwhile investment.
For babies, it entertains with a hanging toy mobile, while older children will use it as a hideout for their toys and friends.
This multi-functional gym grows with your little one, transforming from an infant gym to pretend play teepee. Four hanging toys and a large mirrored mobile engage newborns and infants with overhead discovery and lay n’ play fun. Squeeze the musical elephant’s ear to delight little ones with a cheerful tune.
6. B. Wooden Baby Play Gym & Mat
Settle in for a dreamy time with the Starry Sky baby gym from B. toys! Your little one can get cozy on the comfy mat and explore 3 sensory toys hanging above – a cloud-shaped mirror, squishy stars, and differently-shaped beads. Made of natural wood, this developmental baby gym is great for giggles, games, naps, and dreams – no matter where you are. Assembling and disassembling this playmat is as easy as 1-2-3 and the organic cotton mat is machine washable, just like your baby’s clothes! Not to mention that the hanging toys are detachable – simply pop them off and hook them on the crib, stroller, or car seat to improve motor skills and hand-eye coordination on-the-go.
7. Taf Toys Musical Newborn Cosy Gym
This super cosy musical gym is great for parents who are looking for a playmat that will grow with their newborn and is great for tummy time as your tot gets bigger. The drawstring sides mean that you can have the mat fully laid out flat or drawn in for a more cosy feel. The arches are moveable and detachable and come with a Rattling Prince the Penguin (with high contrast side and coloured side), Chime Bell Star the Seal with added teether (with high contrast side and coloured side), Rainbow Baby-Safe Mirror (with high contrast side and coloured side), Musical pull-ring toy with 3 melodies, colourful lights and Velcro strap.
8. Infantino Twist & Fold Milestones & Memories Twist and Fold Gym
Not only can you use this twist and fold gym as a play mat, but it also serves as a cute backdrop to capture special milestones for your baby. It features five multi-sensory toys to encourage exploration, and offers five play modes as your baby develops, including lay and play, tummy time, sit and play, on-the-go stroller toys and a milestone photo prop.
9. Ingenuity, Cosy Spot Reversible Duvet Activity Gym
A Gender Neutral Play Space With an Ultra-Soft Duvet Design
If you’re looking for comfort, then this plat mat from Ingenuity has a unique duvet design that’s incredibly soft, think marshmallow or cloud-cushty. If you have hard flooring throughout your house, this may be the way to go as it ensures a safe and comfortable spot whatever they’re lying on it.
Furthermore, the mat itself is reversible with two different gender-neutral designs to keep things interesting for your little one. Though once again, the colour scheme is a bit lacking.
10. 5-in-1 Journey of Discovery Activity Gym
This interactive mat comes with all the bells and whistles to keep your infant mesmerized. There are tactile sensory toys for baby to play with, plus a hanging mirror, a puppet, a tummy time pillow, and a toy that plays baby-friendly music. As baby gets older, the walls fold up and the mat can turn into a ball pit (balls are included!).
Thanks to the size of this jumbo activity mat, you can show her all the bright colors and continents that surround her. With detachable plush toys, rattles, mirrors and more, this play gym will take baby on a world of adventure.
What to Look for When Buying Baby Play Mat
Just like with most baby products, you want to ensure that you are paying attention to the type of material your little one’s play mat is made of. Whether it is organic cotton or polyester material that can hold up against your roughhousing sweetie, opting for a baby-friendly material is essential.
As your baby moves from infancy into toddlerhood, they will have a laundry list of milestones that the right play mat can help them reach. From encouraging them to sit up to guiding them to grasp toys, the right play mat can support them through their milestones.
Babies and toddlers are definitely messy and having a play mat that can be tossed in the wash for a quick refresh is a lifesaver.
There are a vast amount of baby play mats online, which can make it awfully difficult to choose one that’s right for both you and your little one. Hopefully, if you follow the advice in our buying guide, you’ll manage to make the right decision when it comes to your purchase!