We may be finding ourselves asking this question over and over again before deciding on a playmat. Do we really need one? Is it really necessary? Is it worth getting a playmat? To top all these questions - Will my baby like it? Will it be safe? Why and when should I be getting a playmat? These are some of the tough questions that we are dealing with as parents and the answer is often very subjective, which is why we are here to share with you our perspectives as parents.
When should I get a playmat?When we got our first playmat, our first child was already 2 years old and we realised how much it would really help if we would have gotten it earlier! While you are preparing for the arrival of your newborn would actually be the best time to get your playmat ready because you can actually start using your playmat from the day they are born as they start having their tummy time. A playmat that is soft yet tough enough for them to practice their strength is essential at this stage as the playmat is the sufficient protection they need during practice time. During this stage, our baby is developing hand-eye coordination, so grasping for dangling toys on the playmat is a good practice until they start to roll over, get on all fours, crawl and eventually walk.
Why do we need a playmat?Foster cognitive, visual and gross motor development
Playmats make great learning tools and provide the right sensory stimulation a growing baby needs. Playmats assist your children’s cognitive development by teaching them primary circular reactions and the basics of cause and effect. Primary Circular Reactions involves coordinating sensation and new schemas. For example, when my baby has hit a rattle and then later intentionally repeats the action because he founds that the sound it made was pleasurable. By engaging with new stimuli and seeing what happens, our kids are learning the basics of cause and effect. Hence, a playmat is a perfect environment for this to happen as they provide a large safe space where our children can explore on their own at their own pace.
What is even more interesting is that while our baby is crawling around, they are improving their visual development. The more they crawl, the more they develop (through repetition) their eye-hand-foot-body coordination. Crawling is not only good for cognitive and visual development, it also speeds up gross motor development. In other words, our babies are developing their core muscle groups where their arms, legs, hands, torso, neck and more are starting to build muscles. It is through the development of these muscles that enable our babies to hold their heads up, sit, crawl and eventually walk, run and skip.Safety
To be frank, we are not able to hold our babies 24/7 and a playmat can definitely come in handy. Our babies are wonderful explorers, especially when they reach the crawling stage, exploring the world around them and making big discoveries. We should encourage this behaviour, but keep them safe. Playmats are the safest fun spots for them to explore and make discoveries when we answer the phone calls or make dinner while keeping an eye on them.
The non-slip surface of the playmats reduces minor falls and bumps. Superior padded construction cushions their tender knees, heads and wrists against serious injury in case of a fall; acting as a shock absorbent, minimises sounds and keeps the atmosphere quiet and serene. With a soft surface and superior cushioning, playmats help insulate the kiddies against cold hard and tiled floors, keeping their tiny feet and bodies comfortable as they walk, play, crawl and roll about.
Playmats help your babies by strengthening their neck and shoulder muscles, developing motor skills and preventing back-of-the-head flattening. Playmats are not only perfect for tummy time, playmats will be the safe and cushioned ground to all your babies in their different development stages. From tummy time to playtime, your babies will always have a soft ground to fall on. So what are you still waiting for? Grab a playmat to let your precious ones enjoy all these benefits!