The play mat comes into play when your baby starts to crawl. This is usually from the 6th month onwards but there are always some super babies around, so you want to stay prepared.
Our baby started to roll over exactly when she hits the 4th month, and we allowed her to practise tummy time on our king size bed. However, our bed is a good 2 feet from the ground including the mattress and you definitely want to keep an eye on your little one when they are rolling or crawling on it. We have a few scares ourselves as baby was rolling over much faster than we thought she could.
The play mat is the safest option for your baby to roll about and crawl in those formative months, and it is good for use even as they learn to take their first steps.
First of all, it is close to the ground and there is no risk of baby tumbling through the air. We have witnessed our friends’ baby going through that and frankly, it is nerve-wrecking even if the baby smiles back at you after crying a bit.
The Parklon Roll-up XPE Play Mat is our recommended choice. It was in fact recommended to us by our confinement lady. She had over 10 years experience caring for newborns and babies and she swore by this brand. We trust her judgement, and are using it. Here are a few things we like about it.
- Easy to clean, hygienic and no rubbery smell
- The surface is soft and perfect for babies and children to roll, crawl or run on it
- It is slip resistant
- We find it quite good at reducing noise, so neighbours below won’t be affected even if children run or jump on it
- Different sizes available to suit your home design (with thickness of 10, 12, 15 or 20 mm)
- Colourful design on the mat captures babies’ attention
- Easy to keep as you can roll it up and store in a corner. Despite repeated rolling up, the play mat maintains its flatness when laid out on the floor; no curved-up corners/edges
After using the play mat, we are more at ease leaving the baby alone for a few seconds. While it is safe to use, you want to ensure there are no furniture around the play mat that your baby can potentially hurt themselves with. Sharp corners, light furniture which may tumble over if pulled hard (babies can pull very hard, especially at the point of learning to stand) should be removed and placed far away from the play mat zone. We would suggest getting a set of playpen fences to keep the baby within the safe zone.
The entire play mat plus fence can be kept installed all the time and they are easily removed and kept if you have guests coming over and you need more space. Alternatively, it is a great playing area for all your friends’ kids while the parents chill out and take their much needed and deserved rest.
As parents, we really want to make sure our babies are not exposed to any materials that can cause harm. There are a lot of play mats out there claiming to be non-toxic and often times, the discussion hinges on what is truly non-toxic and the extent of testing available.
We think technology will continue to throw up new trends and standards and we should adjust accordingly. For ourselves, we did our research online and more importantly, we consult with four other pairs of parents who use the same product.
Here are the technical details in a brief summary.
The Parklon Roll up Play Mat is made of a material known as XPE. Compared to the traditional EVA and PVC mats, this is a safer alternative. To go a step deeper, it is free of phthalates, BPA, latex and formaldehyde. These are elements that cause that toxic smell you encounter sometimes with other mats.
The XPE is also hypoallergenic which means it has a very low risk for causing allergic reactions and it has anti-microbial which is an agent that kills microorganisms or stop their growth.
We believe all these make up a good product and coupled with the recommendations of other parents and our personal user experience, we are happy to recommend it as well.
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Do leave us a comment if you are using a similar product, let us know your thoughts and questions (if any).