Whether you call it a playmat, play gym or an activity gym, the idea is the same—a brightly colored and interactive mat for your baby’s play time.
Do you need a playmat?
Need may be a strong word, but an activity gym can come in handy. Baby holders like activity mats, bouncers and swings can sub for your arms when you need to answer the phone or the door, use the restroom (you have to at some point!) or make dinner.
A playmat is perfect for tummy time, which helps babies strengthen their heads, necks and shoulder muscles. Tummy time also promotes motor skills and helps to prevent the flattening of the back of the head.
When do you need a playmat?
You can use a play gym from day one, but babies between three to six months old get the most enjoyment out of it. This stage is when your baby is developing hand-eye coordination, and grasping for the dangling toys is good practice. Once your baby starts to crawl, they’ll move on to other toys (literally!)
How we chose our best picks
We asked thousands of families about the baby products they love the most, now that their little one has arrived. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight. Here are the top playmat picks we think you and your baby will love.