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Do you want to invest in a baby play gym but are not sure when the best time to get one is? Well, you can introduce a simple baby gym with a few toys to your little one from birth. They will only be able to focus on the toys closest to them, but it does still encourage learning and developing new skills.
Is a Baby Gym Good for my Baby’s Development?
Baby gums can definitely help with your baby’s development, but it is important to be aware of the age of your baby what activities they can realistically be doing. During the first 6 months of your baby’s life, they are developing so many new skills, a baby gym with its many toys and activities can help them to explore and discover many of these new skills and senses. Having the toys hang over them will help them to focus and once they are able to focus, they will then start to reach for the toys.
Can Baby Gym be Dangerous for my Baby?
Most toys or baby accessories come with certain risks but if you choose your baby gym carefully then you will not have to worry too much about this. Look for a sturdy wooden play baby gym that will not easily topple over or fall onto your little one. Make sure the toys and items attached to the baby gym are done so securely so that they do not fall onto your baby. Once your baby starts crawling, they may still play with the gym, but remove some of the toys so that they will not get tangled up in the baby gym.
Specific Types for Specific Stages?
You will find that there are a variety of play gyms for babies that have been specifically designed for certain ages. Try to pick one that corresponds to your baby’s age and/or abilities.
You can introduce a play gym for newborns, these mats and gyms need to be simple. Your little one can’t really focus properly yet so avoid adding too many different types of toys. Keep it simple to a few items that they can focus on. It is also a good idea to keep the toys in the baby gym for a newborn soft rather than hard to avoid them hurting themselves. Add in a few toys that make sounds, this will allow them to explore all their senses. It can be tempting to want to add every toy to the play gym but for your newborn, simple is better.
For Crawling Stage
When your baby starts to crawl, they will still want to play with the baby gym, just in a different way. If you can remove the toys from the gym, this is a good stage to do it – encourage your little one to crawl towards the toys or simply place them around your little one to let them play with. Play gyms are not sturdy enough for your baby to pull themselves up, if they are at this stage, it is better to invest in a push walker that can help them get ready to walk.
For Rolling Stage
Rolling is one of the first big milestones your baby will reach. If you are trying to encourage your little one to roll, a baby play mat can help. Many tummy time mats have colored or themed colors to get your babies attention and you can use this to encourage them to roll over. Look for a play gym that has activities on the side that will encourage your baby to try to move towards them by rolling over. If your baby is rolling and you place them under their play gym, do not leave them unattended.
For Standing Stage
Baby gyms, traditionally, are designed for babies who are not yet mobile, but they can be used to encourage your reluctant walker to stand and even take their first step. If your walker is sturdy enough, you can help your baby up to a standing position and let them play with the toys – you might find that they are distracted by the toys, so they end up standing unaided as they play. It is important to constantly keep an eye on your baby during this stage to make sure that they do not topple over while holding onto the play gym.
Fully Walking Baby
During this stage, your baby will be more interested in the toys attached to the gym than the actual gym. Most gyms have toys attached that can be easily removed, allowing your walking baby to play with them outside of the play gym. A walking baby may also find it fun to play with the toys standing up, or even sitting down. Again, it is important to avoid using the play gym as a walker of sorts because most are not sturdy enough to support a baby’s weight.
Benefits of Using Baby Gym
There are many benefits to a baby gym.
- They stimulate your baby’s senses. Your baby can see, touch, feel and even smell the toys on their baby gym.
- A baby gym will improve your baby’s hand eye co-ordination as they try to reach for the toys.
- Their cognitive development will be boosted. Your baby learns cause and effect as well as colors, shapes, and patterns.
What to look for when choosing baby gym?
Look for a baby gym that is age appropriate for your baby, has as soft mat and is free-standing.
Are baby gyms safe for 1 year old baby?
While baby gyms are safe for 1 year old babies, you might find your 1-year-old is a little old for the gym.
Can newborns play in baby gym or mat?
You can introduce a baby gym or a mat to your newborn, but they will get the most benefit from it from around 3 months.
We hope that we have answered some of your questions about the best time to buy a baby play gym and how they can help your little one develops and grow. If you did find this article useful, then please share it with your friends and family.
Guest Post by Laura
Laura is a mom to 4 kids and a dog, a wife, and a business owner. She also homeschools her children and has been writing about parenting for over 14 years.