Baby Play Mat Review (1) | Gadget Mom
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Material play mat vs Puzzle pay mat vs Foldable play mat
NB: This is an essential item on your baby list! Make sure you get a play mat before your baby's arrival.
Material play mat
(Image and mat from Kids Living)
This is a bust for mE.
Firstly, many of these mats are not soft enough to protect your baby from knocking their head. Secondly, you will spend your life cleaning it. My little girl vomits 1-3 times every time she does tummy time and there is no way I am washing a large, thick play mat multiple times a day. I cannot even dry the play mat in time for the next play time. I also have dogs who I would not be able to stop from going on it, so it would not be the most hygienic option.
I will admit it was very hard to resist buying those gorgeous texture play mats with the bits and bobs attached to them for your baby to touch but I guess that is where the material texture books come in handy - which is certainly more convenient in terms of cleaning. A material texture book can also be used in their crib and be attached to your stroller, rocking chair etc.
This mat will not work as your main everyday mat, you will need to get a puzzle mat or foldable foam mat. The material play mat can be a nice extra, if you have the budget.
Puzzle play mat
Perfect for a permanent play area.
(Mat from Bubhub)
Works great if it is a permanent play mat which you plan to leave out. I recommend this one only if the play mats are going to stay out!
Can build it to the size that you want.
Foam protects your baby from knocking their head but is hard enough for them to press themselves up and roll over.
It is easy to clean. You can frequently wipe it with a disinfecting solution and when your baby vomits, you can just wipe it with wet wipes or a wet cloth and he/she can carry on playing.
Vomit can go in-between the cracks which makes cleaning it not as quick as a foldable play mat.
The interlocking pieces can break over time (wear and tear).
It's a mission to take apart and build each time if you are not able to leave it out permanently.
The puzzle pieces sometimes shift slightly apart and you have to assemble them together again. If you don’t, the puzzle pieces can break.
At around five months, you child starts pulling the edges/rims off, pulling the puzzle pieces apart and chewing the interlocking edges which is highly annoying. (I discovered this a month after making the video review)
After a while the print starts to peel off and your baby thinks its fun to rip it off completely. (I discovered this a month after making the video review)
This play may cannot go on grass as the ground is uneven. (I discovered this a month after making the video review)
Foldable play mat
My Favorite one because you can get more out of it! This is a must have in my book!
(Image and mat from https://babyplaymats.co.za/)
You can easily put it out and pack it away. If you are a little OCD, it is nice to have it out the way and have your place looking tidy when you're not using it.
Perfect to take with you to picnics, the beach, out into your garden or to friends and family.
You can also leave it out permanently for a play area.
Foam protects your baby from knocking their head but is hard enough for them to press them selves up and roll over.
It is the easiest one to clean. You can frequently wipe it with a disinfecting solution and when your baby vomits, you can just wipe it with wet wipes or a wet cloth and he/she can carry on playing.
Some time they can be too large for the space you have available for playtime. Therefore, check the dimensions of the mat before you buy it or make sure that you can fold it in such a way to make it fit (Which is what I have done in my case).
(This mat is from Bouloo Baby play mats)