Baby Playmats

Written by Serena Berger
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Aside from the crib or playpen, there are few places to set a new baby down that you can be sure are totally clean and safe. This is why many new parents choose to pick up a playmat. These mats are small, thin cushions meant to keep the baby well padded when placed on the ground or floor. The cushions are covered in easily cleanable fabric and usually decorated with baby-pleasing colors and patterns.

These mats are not only useful in making sure the baby is comfortable on the floor. They can work as on-the-go changing surfaces, and are a great ground cover for trips to the park or the beach. Most are machine washable, but you can also often clean them with baby wipes. Plus, many mats are also activity centers, so they come with toys to amuse your baby built right in.

Things to Watch out for with Baby Playmats

There are a few things you should consider when buying a playmat. Make sure that the one you select is not too soft. Too much padding can create a cushion into which the baby can sink and even suffocate. Also, make sure that the mat is rigid enough to avoid an active baby's pulling it over his or her head. And, most important, make sure the mat doesn't have exposed zippers or buttons that can hurt the baby in any way.

Some playmats are stuffed with regular pillow foam, while still others are filled with water. These act like small-scale waterbeds, keeping the baby "floating" atop the filled mat. Again, make sure that such mats are not overfilled with water, to reduce the risk of injury to your child. Babies should never be left unattended on any type of play mat.

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