Activity Gyms and Play Mats

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 This is S's first time on the mat at 2 weeks. He was instantly captivated.  

This is S's first time on the mat at 2 weeks. He was instantly captivated.  

  • Activity Mat

    • We started using the Skip Hop Activity Gym  when my son was only 2 weeks old.  He has been captivated by the hanging toys since the beginning.  I definitely recommend this activity gym.  The only negative aspect is that it isn’t that thick, so if your home isn’t carpeted you need another mat under it.  I always put a burp cloth under my son in case he spits up.  I've washed the activity gym many times and it has retained its color well.  

    • Mamas & Papas also makes beautiful good quality mats.  A friend of mine has one and I am impressed with it.  

  • Play Mat

    • In general, I will post only about products that I have researched and test driven.  I researched play mats and purchased one, but ultimately returned it and decided to stick with a round yoga mat that I already owned.  A few people asked me recently to recommend a play mat, so I decided to write up what I've researched to at least give you a starting point for your own research.  

    • Roll Up Play Mats 

      • Baby Care Play Mats  -- Five of my friends have them and are really happy with them.  They come in multiple sizes and patterns.  They are reversible so you get two designs in one.  The Pink and Blue country mats are my favorite of the designs as they are muted, plus if you end up with a second child of the opposite gender you can just switch to the other side.  

 

      • I bought this round yoga mat years ago. I keep it under the activity gym for extra cushioning.  We have laid five three month old babies on it during playdates.  We also had 7 people sit around it for infant CPR.  It isn’t super thick, so if your baby is learning to roll or sit and falling over, it may not be enough on its own to protect from a rough tumble.  But you might be able to get away with putting a blanket or towel under it for that short period.  If round doesn't work for you, you might consider an oversized square yoga mat.  

      • The Baby Mushroom mats are nice but they are expensive.  I like that there is a washable cover. I ordered one and decided it wasn't worth the cost, so I returned it (gotta love free shipping both ways on Amazon Prime).  The mat is really thick, which is nice but also means that it takes up a lot of room when rolled up.  You can use this coupon for $30 off the organic mat: 7WZTWAW7.

    • Interlocking tile mats are popular but can be hard to clean and some kids like to take them apart and chew on the edges.

      • The newly released Skip Hop ones come in subdued shades of cream and grey and you can arrange them in nice patterns.  They would look nice in any room and are affordable.