If you are preparing for your first child, one of the essential baby items that you will need is a play pad. Play pads are ideal for children because they allow your baby to experience a wide variety of toys and textures while doing tummy time. For the first few month’s babies may simply lay on a play pad and try to touch the different textures with their hands. Around three months, your baby will switch to tummy time for a few minutes a day, multiple times a day.
Tummy time is an essential piece of development that will allow your baby to strengthen their neck, shoulder and back muscles. It will help prevent your baby from developing a flat head or even torticollis. Many babies will not like tummy time at first, but the use of a play pad will make their daily activity much more enjoyable. The play pad will give your baby something to look at and play with. It will increase their motor development and allow them to begin reaching for objects and strengthening even more muscles. If you are looking for the best play pad for your infant, here are some of the best ones on the market today.
1) Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym
This playmat is ideal for all new parents because it is easy to use, affordable, and entertaining for all children. It features a piano at one end of the mat and overhead toys that reach across the top of the gym. The hanging toys give babies something to reach up and grab when they are laying on their backs. The piano at the one end allows your baby to press the keys when they are laying on their stomachs. When the keys are hit the lights will flash and the music will play. This helps teach cause and effect to children from a young age. All infants will be able to use this animal themed pad to explore new things and improve their development.
2) KidPal Tummy Time Water Play Mat
Another wonderful ideal for tummy time is a water filled play pad. This water filled play mat will make tummy time much more enjoyable for infants and give them something exciting to look at. They can either lay on the mat itself or it can be placed above them, and their hands can grab at the water and the toys inside the mat. As your baby tries to grab the toys inside the mat, they will float away and create an endless game of catch. It will keep any child entertained for hours while improving hand eye coordination, motor development skills, and cause and effect.
3) Skip Hop Baby Treetop Friends Gym/ Play Pad
This play pad acts as a play mat and an activity gym. It features five toys that hang above the mat, a small pillow to improve tummy time, and a cloth mat with built in mirror. The built in mirror feature of this mat is ideal because it allows babies to discover their own face while doing tummy time. You can easily remove the toys that hang on the gym and place them in front of your baby while they are doing tummy time. This gym is easy to store and can be folded up in a matter of seconds.
4) Baby Care Play Mat Haute Collection
If you are simply looking for a mat that you can lay down on hardwood, tiled or other hard surface floor, you may choose to invest in only a play mat with no other toys attached. This play mat is ideal because it is light and easy to move to any room of the home or outside of the home. This reversible foam mat is easy to clean and can be used on many different surfaces. Your baby can lay on their backs, do tummy time, or sit up on these mats as they grow up. It is a waterproof surface that provides the perfect play location for babies of all ages.
5) Tiny Love Meadow Days Super Play Mat
This play mat is one of the best mats available because it is waterproof, easy to fold up, and features a variety of different textures that will leave your baby looking for more. It does not have any toys overhead and is a simple mat that can travel anywhere. It features different textures, and pictures on the mat, including a mirror and flaps that will allow your baby to reach for new things and develop their muscles and hand eye coordination.