Are you a mom trying to invest a few bucks on a water playmat? Or do you have one already but want to be sure if it’s good for your baby? You will learn some useful tips on water mats as you read on.
As parents, we want to make sure we give our kids the best childhood experience. But the truth is, there are so many things involved in raising kids.
Should I buy this? Should I use this? These are two common questions we always ask just to be sure we are doing the right thing.
Are water play mats safe for babies? What is the essence of using water mats? At what age should I use the mat? These and more questions will be treated in this article.
Related Article: Are baby playmats necessary? (Read this first!)
Table of Contents
Are Water Play Mats Safe For Babies?
Water play mats are absolutely safe to use for babies and they offer dozens of benefits to your little one. However, if your baby has any medical concerns, you should speak to your pediatrician before using a water mat.
While it is true that you can start using a water mat or floor mat immediately after birth, I usually like to wait for some time before doing so. I see no reason why I should stress over the use of a mat immediately.
Also, just because using a water mat is good doesn’t mean you should force it on your baby. If for any reason, you noticed your little one is not comfortable with a tummy time, you can skip the session to another time.
Finally, don’t leave your baby all alone on a playmat while you are busy doing something else in another section of your home. It is either you supervise the process yourself or get an adult to do that for you.
Once you are able to follow these precautions, using a water mat should be of great importance to the development of your child.
Recommended Article: How much are used baby cribs? (Complete guide)
Are Water Mats Good For Tummy Time?
Yes, water mats are really good for tummy time and they should be encouraged for kids. For the faster development of a baby, tummy time plays a crucial role in building the neck, back, and shoulder muscles.
Allowing your little one to lay on his or her back for too long is never a good thing to do. Apart from the fact that it slows down development, it causes positional plagiocephaly (a flat spot on the back of your baby’s head).
For babies that are just a few weeks old, each tummy time session shouldn’t exceed 3 minutes. There is a limit these babies can tolerate and you shouldn’t make them exceed the limit.
As they grow, you can start increasing the session. 1 to 3 sessions per day should be enough. You may decide to do tummy time after every diaper change.
Therefore, tummy time is good as it helps with a child’s motor development and general development such as rolling over, crawling, sitting, and walking.
Tummy time is the time you place your baby on his or her stomach. During this time, your baby must be awake and alert, and you must be present to supervise the process.
Recommended for you: Is Luray Caverns Kids friendly? Find out!
What Are The Benefits Of Using Water Mats For Babies?
Water play mats help babies to develop both physical and cognitive skills. Since the mat is filled with water and objects are floating inside it, it does a great deal in improving motor skills, sensory development, and hand-eye coordination.
Apart from placing your baby on the water mat (tummy time), you can place the mat just in front of your baby. This way, he or she gets to see the movement inside the mat and would want to try to reach out to the objects.
Combining both tummy time benefits and the benefits of placing the mat in front of your little one, below are the benefits you’ll get.
- It prevents your child from having a flat-shaped head
- Water mats strengthen the neck, back, and shoulder muscles
- It improves motor skills
- A water mat helps in hand-eye coordination
- It helps in sensory development
- It fosters a faster rate of sitting, crawling, and walking
You may want to read this: Are jogging strollers good for hiking?
What Age Can You Use A Water Mat For A Baby?
You can start using a water play mat for your baby as soon as possible, as long as there is no medical complication and your baby spent full time in the womb.
However, it is very normal for most moms to be skeptical about using the mat right from birth. I mean, at that age, your baby is still very small and you want to make sure everything is okay with your little one.
If you are not cool with using a tummy play mat immediately after birth, it’s fine. You can wait for about 4 to 12 weeks be introducing your baby to the water mat.
Also, at the early stage, you don’t need to do tummy time for a long time – around 1 – 3 minutes should be fine at one go. You can do as many as 3 sessions per day.
As your little one keeps developing, you may start to increase the number of minutes for tummy time. In all that you do, just make sure you are there to supervise the whole process.
Recommended: Are strollers allowed on escalators? (Find out!)
How Do You Use A Water Play Mat?
After unpacking the water mat from the box, you will notice two tubes – the outer tube and the inner larger tube. Fill the inner tube with water and inflate the outer tube with air.
There are usually sea animals inside the inner tube. Once you fill it with water, the sea animals begin to float inside.
To use it for your baby, you can either lay your baby on the mat (tummy time) or place the mat in front of your little one.
If placed in front of your baby, he or she will be astounded by the movement inside the water mat and would want to reach the sea animals. All these practices are great for kids as they help in rapid development.
What Is The Cost Of A Play Mat For Babies?
The average price for a water play mat for babies is around $10. You shouldn’t spend more than $30 to buy a water mat because they are pretty cheap.
Some water mats come with extra exciting features that make them a little pricey when compared to others. In all, these mats are considered cheap when compared to the benefits they offer.
Related article: Do babies like back rubs? (Read this first!)
Top 3 Best Water Play Mats For Kids
If you want to get a water play mat for your little one, you can choose from any of the three below. We made our selection based on 3 price categories – low price, medium price, and high price.
Final Word – Is Water Play Mat For Babies Worth It?
It is always worth it to buy a water mat for your baby because its benefits are enormous. This is one of the baby items that are cheap with great benefits.
The fact that you can use the mat both indoors and outdoors makes it a perfect item to have for your child. If you want to add extra fun to your baby’s childhood, you should get a water mat.