A playmat has shown to help with the development of your little one's education, imagination, visual and hand-coordination. It can be daunting for first-time parents to find the perfect playmat that is not only safe but entertaining too.
Read our guide, which will explore the variety of sizes, shapes, themes and safety features, and make the best choice for your child.
What Safety Features Does a Playmat Need to Have?
First thing you should do is research into the different retailers that you might be purchasing a playmat from. Do they have an excellent record when it comes to baby products?
Have a look at reviews from previous buyers regarding the safety of the product.
Check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for product recalls.
Depending on the age of your child, you can choose different materials to ensure their safety:
Foam or quilted playmatsare a great option for babies and young toddlers because they are soft, spongy and comfortable enough for them to take a nap on.
Fabric mats are a better choice for older toddlers due to their tougher material, which does not crumple up or move around the floor when used by a pro-active child.
Double-sided silicone playmats have recently been introduced on the market. They are rollable and flexible but are as equally robust. You can even find ones that have additional features such as soft protruding dots on the surface, which allow Lego and Duplo pieces to be attached.
Choose an organic baby playmat that is made from organic and non-toxic materials. They will often include cotton covers and have plant-based foam interiors, such as Natural Cork and Bamboo fibers.
A playmat should be free from Formamide, PVC, BPA, PBS, Formaldehyde, Fire-retardants, Phthalates, Lead, and VOCs.
Keep in mind there are mats that claim to be eco-friendly and non-toxic, but still include PVC, and PVC is not really considered non-toxic.
How to Pick a Playmat that is Both Fun and Encourages Child Development?
For toddles that have begun developing learning skills, you can choose a play mat that incorporates the alphabet or numbers, or both. A child should always have a lot of fun, but it should be combined with personal mental development.
Colors play a vital role in developing your child's visual senses. Bright colors attract attention and are easier for babies and toddlers to comprehend. Choose a play mat that has at least one or two of these colors- blue, green, yellow, red and purple
How Big and Thick Should a Playmat be?
Your baby might be small now, but it will grow and will start crawling soon, so it is important to have this in mind when choosing the size of the mat.
If you have the living space for a gigantic mat, you should get one because not only can the baby enjoy a lot of space to explore but you can join them as well.
Do not rely on retailers that have S, M, L and XL markings since such marking can vary with different suppliers. Make sure to confirm the dimensions with the retailer.
A space folder mat's thickness can be up to 42 mm, which offers the most security. However, you can go lower and still be safe. A mat that has 15 mm thickness is a general standard.
The size and material will also determine the weight of the mat. For example, even though a soft mat is 40 mm thick, it is two times lighter than a PVC mat with 15 mm thickness.
A playmat should be travel-friendly, which means you can fold in nicely and quickly without trouble and fit it comfortably in your car.