As you have probably guessed, our beautiful play mats aren’t purely in your homes for decoration - although we wouldn’t blame you if they were! They are a safe and comfy space for your baby to play, grow and develop skills such as crawling and rolling.
Time spent on the floor allows your little one to have a good stretch out and to wriggle and strengthen their arms, legs, back and core. This is especially
important if they’ve been sitting in a buggy or bouncer during the day. It also gives them an opportunity to practice tummy time which is key to babies under six months developing their gross motor skills.
If you can, try to spend some time on the floor a few times each day but if your baby is tired, hungry or distressed they probably won’t be in the mood for it. Try to choose a time when they are calm and happy and we’re sure you’ll make some really special memories together!
Make the space safe
Before you put your baby on your playmat, make sure there are no sharp corners or objects they could roll into or small items they could put into their mouth.
Remember - never leave your baby unattended on the floor.
Why tummy time?
Tummy time is an important developmental activity for babies. It strengthens the muscles in their necks and upper body and also helps with skills such as rolling and crawling. Most babies aren’t the biggest fans of it at first so it’s best to just start off with a few minutes at a time. This will increase as they become stronger and more comfortable on the floor. Obviously, entertainment from you and toys will help make it more fun for them.
You can also used a rolled up towel or blanket under their chest & arm pits (like in this picture) to help them get used to it.
When your baby is still very small, tummy time can be on you and your partner’s chests instead. Bliss!
Entertainment from toys
Toys which light up, make noise and can be pushed and pulled around are great choices for floor play. If your baby is lying on their back you could put a play gym with dangling objects and mirrors above them for them to reach up for. If they’re not grasping things yet you can shake and squeak items instead.
For babies who can sit safely, try to surround them with stacking items, rattles, wooden cars, soft books and anything else you have for them to interact and play with.
Entertainment from you
Singing, making silly faces or lying on your back with them to read a book will all entertain your baby. Tickling, stroking, playing peekaboo and blowing bubbles are also great playmat activities.
Floor play to encourage movement
Your play mat may be the spot where you first see some of your baby’s big development milestones. This could be reaching for and grasping toys, grasping their feet or rolling onto their back or tummy. When they are around six months old they may start to be able to move around on their tummies, such as around in circles or forwards or backwards.
We speak from experience when we advise you to watch out for them reversing under the sofa! As they get older they will start to move onto their hands and knees, play using both hands and start to crawl.
If you’ve got a camera handy to record all of these special moments - do share them with us - we love seeing our M&B tribe taking their next ‘steps’! #munchkinandbear