As a parent, you already know how challenging is to entertain your baby, especially in the first year of their life. Keeping them engaged can be a seriously demanding task for first-time parents. A baby play gym can be a great way to amuse your toddler with the colourful toys that dangle overhead while developing some essential life skills on the soft mat.
How Do Baby Play Gyms Support Development?
Stimulate Cognitive Functions Development
Baby gyms help your child learn the fundamentals of cause and effect. Babies engage in “basic cyclical reactions” between 6 weeks and 4 months. This means they learn to repeat an activity that they did by accident at first (for example, “accidentally” batting at a toy). Then, between 4 and 8 months, babies begin to initiate and repeat these acts on their own because they enjoy them! These are referred to as “secondary circular reactions.” Grasping, pulling, or kicking a toy to make it light up or produce sounds are just a few examples.
This is a crucial ability since it is the foundation for reasoning and the knowledge of cause and consequence. Playmats stimulate the development of cause and effect awareness by providing dangling toys and even kick- or pull-activated toys that respond to their activities, encouraging babies to interact with them again.
Encourage Self- Awareness Stage
Many play gym mats now include a small, non-breakable mirror, allowing newborns to spend time looking in the mirror. Around 3-5-month-old babies begin to observe themselves in the mirror (staring at it, reaching it). They may first smile at themselves in the mirror between 5-8 months, and then playfully respond to their mirror image around 6-9 months by laughing, patting, or making faces in the mirror. All of these abilities are critical for the development of self-awareness. It’s very important to provide your baby with the opportunity to practice so you can look for baby play gym Australia designed pieces that are durable and of high quality.
Improve Visual Perception and Hand-Eye Coordination
Babies can only see objects that are eight to twelve inches distant clearly when they are born. When a baby is lying beneath a gym, the toys hanging above them are just about eight inches away from their faces, which is ideal for a newborn’s developing vision. They can also notice objects that are vividly coloured or contrasted in hue, which is why most baby gyms include contrasting coloured objects. This indicates that your child’s vision is sufficiently stimulated while they play.
Babies have a reflex that causes them to move their arms in the direction their head is facing from the moment they are born. This is the start of their hand-eye coordination stage. An activity gym allows babies to practice this skill consciously rather than reflexively when they reach for objects. The corresponding arm will move when they turn their head to look at an object attached. Over time, the baby will become aware of what is going on and will begin to purposefully repeat this action. Even the youngest babies can practice their visual tracking skills. The more they practise moving their eyes up, down, sideways, and diagonally, the better they will be at tracking objects.
Support Gross Motor Skills Development
Tummy time is the period when your infant spends time awake layin on their tummy. Tummy time not only strengthens your baby’s neck, back, and arms, but it also aids in the development of higher-level gross motor skills (such as rolling, crawling, and walking), hand skills (which develop the muscles in the arches of the hands as the baby bears weight on them), visual skills (which teach the eyes to work together), and even speech and feeding skills (strengthening the neck which supports the jaw for talking and eating). When babies spend time on their tummies, they relieve pressure on the back of their skulls, which helps to prevent flat spots (also known as “positional plagiocephaly”). Baby play gym mats support all these areas of development and put into action even those babies that find tummy time boring and exhausting.
Embed Productive Diversity in Babies’ Daily Routine
Your baby was content to be swaddled and held during the first weeks at home. They will, however, soon demand more to keep them occupied and meet their wants. Your baby play gym Australia designed piece can be an interesting and entertaining diversion that helps your baby to enhance developmental areas while playing, which is an important part of their daily routine. It also allows parents to spend quality time with their children. Take some time to sit and point out the many types of characters and sounds. Use this time to reinforce your child’s language and communication skills. It’s a great way to keep your toddler amused while you use the benefits of a quick phone call, making a bottle, or having a break.
In addition, baby gyms are also great because:
- They are simple to clean and can be thrown in the washing machine;
- They are portable and can be simply folded and transported to a friend’s or family member’s house or on a trip;
- They provide a natural boundary for your baby’s play space if you are in a place where you are concerned he or she may not be observed on the floor and accidentally bumped into;
- You can personalize them by adding extra links and toys of your taste;
- You can take off the links and toys from the gym and hang them in a different place, such as a baby’s bed or stroller;
- You can also remove the toys from the gym and give them to your baby to play with them on their own.