Baby Floor Mat 101: What and How To Use A Baby Floor Mat

Guide on buying and using baby floor mat safely for your baby

By Diana Nadim
Baby Floor Mat 101: What and How To Use A Baby Floor Mat

What Is A Baby Floor Mat

A baby floor mat can be described as a piece of soft fabric that is placed on the floor to be used as the baby’s play area. Floor mats are not a new idea and the only thing that has changed is the design and the materials. In ancient times, for example, man used to make floor mats from cured animal skins and this slowly changed with the advancement of technology to what we have today.

Carpet weaving is traced to the 3rd millennium BC where the Egyptians used wove carpets that were used as floor mats. This technique spread to Central Asia where it was developed further with the Chinese becoming the first to produce a modern carpet. Before the 20th century, mats were made from organic materials but the Industrial Revolution lead to the introduction of mats made of rubber and other petroleum-based materials. This kind of mats can, however, not be used as a baby’s floor mats as they are not healthy.

Benefits Of A Baby Floor Mat

Babies need to play so that they can develop properly and since they are delicate, they need to have a clean and soft playing area which is why a normal floor is not ideal as its rough and it has a lot of germs. Baby floor mats provide the best solution to the above issues as they are soft and clean, ensuring your bundle of joy is always comfortable and protected.

Baby floor mats provide a safe space for your bundle of joy to play and observe things. This is why these floor mats are equipped with interesting materials and toys to keep the baby occupied and entertained. The following are some of the ways a baby floor mat enables the development of your baby:

1. Leads to visual development

Newborns are short-sighted which means that they are not able to see objects which are far from them. They are, in fact, only able to identify objects that are about thirty centimeters from their faces. A baby floor mat is equipped with several dangling toys that have contrasting shades. These toys entertain the baby and also help in the improvement of the baby’s visual recognition skills. Shades such as black and white are essential and it’s not just the toys that have such high contrasting colors, the mat itself is also designed using a variety of bright shades. 

2. Leads to gross motor development

Gross motor development refers to skills that require the entire body activity and which commit the grand muscles of the body to carry out essential functions such as walking, sitting, running, and eye-hand coordination and any others. The advancement of these skills starts when one is a baby and a floor mat helps in the growth. A baby’s floor mat inspires the baby to crawl and this enables the toddler to use the arms, legs, and hands helping to develop muscles in those areas making them stronger. The mat also encourages your bundle of joy to lay on his or her stomach and this helps to strengthen the baby’s back and neck, enabling the growth of important gross motor abilities such as crawling, rolling, and walking.

3. Leads to cognitive development

Cognitive development refers to the creation of the thinking process. Even though newborns are unable to talk, they are conscious of their ambiance and a floor mat enables the baby to explore his or her background further, leading to the advancement of the baby’s cognition. As they play with toys found on the mat, babies are able to bring together and to process data around their surroundings and to use the knowledge collected to expand their thinking abilities and approach. Baby floor mats also allow toddlers to learn the elemental cause and effect as it emboldens them to duplicate an activity that they might have done randomly.

4. It leads to sensory stimulation

This is another essential developmental benefit of baby floor play mats. Sensory stimulation refers to the awakening of the five key sense which includes vision, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Baby floor play mats have a unique texture and produce different sounds and these things provide your bundle of joy with the required sensory stimulation that enables the development of the senses.

Criteria When Getting A Baby Floor Mat

There are a lot of things for you to consider before choosing the play mat for your baby as this is a place where your child will spend most of his or her time on. Your baby’s comfort and development is, therefore, affected to some degree by the choice that you will make. One of the things you should consider when looking to buy a play mat for your baby is the number of toys the mat has. An ideal floor mat should have a wide range of positions to hang contrastingly colored toys for your baby.

More toys will not only keep the baby entertained but will also prevent your baby from staying in the belly-up position for too long as this is harmful to him or her. When a baby stays in a position for too long, it increases pressure at the back of your baby’s head which is very risky. Having a lot of positions for toys encourages the baby to keep turning his or her head in several directions often which reduces the chances of pressure building up on the back of the head. It also leads to the development of motor skills!

An ideal play mat should also not be too complicated visually especially for newborns as their vision is not fully developed. A good play mat should be simple and should have contrasting colors. You should also ensure that the mat is able to rest flat on the floor without any kind of bumps as they can harm the baby by straining his or her back too much. Baby floor mats should also be waterproof, spongy, and soft as this protects the babies from hurting themselves in case they fall.

Non-Toxic Material

A baby play mat should be made from materials that do not emit any dangerous chemicals when used by the baby. Materials that are safe and have no harmful chemicals are the ones that are referred to as non-toxic materials. Examples of play mats made form truly non-toxic materials include:

1. MyLine Baby PlayMat

MyLine Baby Play Mat_Fruit Garden/Train ABC-Extra Thick

This mat is made from food grade material and it contains large alphabets which help to keep the baby entertained throughout. It’s also slip-resistant and soft in order to protect your baby from rough and hard floors. This mat is waterproof and this makes cleaning to be an easy process and this helps to keep germs away from your bundle of joy. MyLine Baby PlayMat ensures that cold air coming from the floor does not reach the baby as it can cause a lot of health problems.

2. Modular Cube Play Mat by Cream Haus

Modular Cube Play Mat

Modular Cube Play Mat is ideal for babies of all ages and it has a water resistant surface which makes it easy for you to clean the playing area. This is very important as it keeps germs at bay as babies are very delicate. The mat has a thick non-toxic foam that acts as a shock absorber, protecting your baby from the rough and hard floor. Cream Haus takes the issue of play mats very seriously which is why they have tested their mats to ensure they do not irritate the delicate skin of babies in any way.

3. Organic Play Mat by Organic Designs

Organic Play Mat

Unlike the other two play mats addressed above, Organic Play Mat by Organic Designs does not have foam as it’s made from certified organic cotton fabric and is filled with organic flings which help to provide your baby with much-needed warmth. This mat is light and does not require any batteries but it’s not slip-resistant which is why you should always ensure that you are watching your baby while playing on this mat.

Use Of Foam?

Foam refers to a soft, air-filled matrix structure. There are two main types of foam and they include organic non-toxic foam that is made from latex and rubber foam which is made of polyurethane. The reason why foam is used in baby play mats is that it’s soft and helps to protect the baby from getting hurt and keeps the baby warm. Only non-toxic foam is good for baby play mats as it does not emit any harmful chemicals.

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Baby play mats are fun and they not only help in the development of the baby and to keep the baby occupied but also allows you to relax. This is very important as relaxing enables you to be sharp. As much as we love our babies, they are heavy and hence we cannot be able to hold them all the time as it's tiring.