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As babies grow from the infant stage to around 3 months old, parents should consider incorporating a baby play gym in their child’s daily routine. Using a baby play gym will help the baby grow and strive to reach important developmental milestones.
Each of the baby play gyms on our top 10 list keeps your child as the main priority. They are both easy to use when you’re at home and while traveling. Between the colors, interactive toys, and the grow-with-baby capabilities, these are the best baby play gyms to consider for your baby.
What is a baby play gym?
A baby play gym is a blanket-like surface that has an arch with toys hanging above. They are great to have because they make tummy time or floor time easy. They allow your baby to play on their back as well as on their front. The hanging toys give the baby something to look at, reach for, and interact with as they grow.
They vary in style. Some play gyms are colorful and have a range of themes while others are neutral. Most of the best baby play gyms are easy to move around the home. They have a compact design that makes them very portable.
How is a baby play gym useful?
A baby play gym is useful because it provides a dedicated space for your baby to play on the floor. Depending on the play gym you choose, the design gives babies plenty of safe space to lay on their front or back. This will also allow your baby to work on strengthening muscles, hand-eye coordination, and exploring their new skills.
You might be wondering how a baby play gym is better than just a blanket on the floor with toys. It actually is! They are specifically designed to help new babies work on developmental milestones like reaching, kicking, their eyesight, and motor skills. It also helps with learning to roll over and sit up. Baby play gyms have a very intentional design. They entice the baby to practice reaching, moving, and lifting their head as well as rolling. A blanket or other home item with toys is good for interaction but a baby play gym is very much a home gym for an infant.
Top 10 Best Baby Play Gyms
This play gym by Lovevery has all neutral-tones and is super cute. It will fit in flawlessly wherever you set it up in your home. Best of all, it has five different development zones. The mat itself has flaps that reveal different activity centers and there’s even a portion that stands to provide black and white shapes for eye development. The arch has three hanging toys for interactive grabbing while laying or sitting. With a two minute setup and ability to turn the arch into a play tent, this is a great grow-with-me option as well.
This play gym by Baby Einstein is a great grow-with-me option. You can use the mat on its own for tummy time. Another cool feature is that the arches include one netted side for playing with balls and improving hand-eye coordination. There are three hanging toys as well as a set of ball pit balls. The sides of the mat also fold up to transform the space into the baby’s own personal ball pit. The whole unit easily folds up in a suitcase-style bag. Plus, the bottom mat is machine washable!
Skip Hop offers a classic baby play gym with three soft colored themes, celestial with suns and clouds, treetop friends with leaves and birds, and grey trees with bright birds. Each theme offers the same two arches with removable plush themed toys and a padded mat. When you use the mat independently of the arches, this mat is perfect for tummy time and building muscle. The gym is easy to assemble but doesn’t have any travel or storage bag. This is a great standard option for having fun at home and working on developmental milestones.
This baby play gym is a Sesame Street-themed with fun colorful characters decorating the mat as well as hanging toys. The mat and toys are perfect for tummy time, as you can remove the arches and play with each toy independently. Then, it can be put together for back, sitting up, and crawling fun. The mat folds in half using the arches as handles for easy transport whenever you’re moving the mat around.
Another neutral-colored option is this baby play gym with a black and white base and blue accents. The contrast of black and white provides visual stimulation while the blue adds a pop of neutral color. The arches are adjustable and include four hanging toys that also fit the black and white theme. This is a great option for your baby all the way from tummy time to crawling. Overall this is a great in-between from the standard play gym and the more modern neutral, as the colors suit most homes and still deliver all the fun.
A more modern take on the baby play gym is this wooden style, as the unit is a folding frame with a middle bar that wooden toys hang from. The color palette is completely neutral, making it perfect for any household. The design allows it to fold away quickly for easy storage. Babies can play on any blanket or mat under the arch, but there is also a seat to give younger babies some support. This baby play gym was designed to fit over loungers, rockers, and seats, which is perfect for growing with your child and stores easily between playtimes.
This is a great bright on-the-go baby play gym with a fun tropical theme. The colors are bright but relaxing with the floor mat shaped like a large leaf. The two arches support several plush toys like money, leaf, and bird, along with a mirror. These toys are removable and can be attached to the pillow included. The unit was designed with a “twist, fold, and go” layout which makes it easy to set up and break down as well as travel with.
Baby play gyms don’t have to be complex and colorful to be entertaining or educational, this one by B. Toys is a neutral clean wooden frame with pops of color and a comfortable play mat. The toys match the light blue of the frame with three hanging toys that can be removed and played with on the go. The playmat can also be used separately. With this baby play gym, most of the pieces have a dual purpose, making this a great option for minimalist families that want utilitarian toys that can last for years.
Many baby play gyms are great for the first year or two of your baby’s life, but this one takes it a step further and converts to an enclosed ball pit giving you a few more years of fun. The playmat is shaped like a turtle with two arches supporting colorful fish toys. These hanging toys match the under the sea theme and are also perfect for on the go play. When the baby is old enough to sit and play independently the whole unit supports added netting for ball pit fun. Arches can be removed for floor time or for ball pit play, giving you three completely different units all in one gym.
This last baby play gym is a little unique. It is an oval-shaped mat that converts from a seat to a floor mat. This is great for infants that are just starting to play as they can sit and enjoy the arch before they’re old enough to sit independently. The mat is the perfect size for tummy time as well as floor time and the toys are large enough to make play easy and fun. Another feature of this play gym is that it collapses in half to make transport and storage simple.
We hope this list helped you find the perfect fit that suits your baby’s needs while also matching your nursery or home decor. Many are designed to be easy to set up and take down as well as travel with, so your baby can always play with floor time, tummy time, or seated play wherever you are.
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