When there is a baby on the way, our home fills up with all sorts of items. Pushchair, nappies, changing mat, crib and so on and so forth.
Some people start furnishing the nursery early on, others waits until right up to the birth due date, and others still do it when the baby is already a little bit older.
Undoubtedly, this event means big changes in our domestic life, that is why it is essential to plan everything and not leave anything to chance, especially concerning the space designed for playtime.
It may be a good idea to set aside our own preferences and wishes around home décor as much as possible: the safety and needs of the new arrival must be paramount!
Yes, a baby needs a safe, calm and reassuring space that they must immediately perceive as their own, where they can explore – without hurdles or hazards – the world that they are starting to live in and know, beginning with playtime.
Newborns in fact use their hearing, touch and sight as their access key to discover the reality that surrounds them. Moreover, explorative play through sensory perception is the most effective learning method for all children.
That is why, when thinking about everything you might need for first months of life of the new arrival, every new parent should also include tools and ‘utensils’ that can stimulate their baby and help their development, such as playing mats and baby bouncers.
Certain types of mats provide newborns with the opportunity to gain confidence with textures, sounds and colours within a safe, soft and comfortable environment, aiding the development of coordination and movement from the very first months of life. Other models are not just playing mats, but can be turned into a carrier bag for toys too, managing to be both practical and handy at the same time.
On the market you can also find other kinds of mats to promote crawling, something which prepares babies for their first steps, that joyful moment – just like the first word – that every family looks forward to.
These mats also give children complete freedom of movement, essential to start discovering the potential of their little body. Small and steady progress which helps to strengthen muscles in the neck and back, until they are able to sit up all by themselves!
The colours and toys will give them a boost to keep learning and discovering new things.
A different item, but just as helpful for our kids, is the baby bouncer: this kind of ‘baby-gym’ for newborns has bars for exercise and play, from which hang a variety of objects, all within easy reach, that your baby can examine and discover.
Through visual and physical stimuli, babies are encouraged to lift their head up to carefully observe the colourful toys that are dangling from the bars: a movement that may seem ordinary to us, but which is instead essential for their body development. This way, they will strengthen the muscles in the neck and around the spine.
These are useful tools for parents then, but especially for babies.
But how do you choose the right one?
When it comes to playing mats, you need to consider two aspects.
1 – Hygiene and safety: choose an anti-allergy mat, ideal for playing, crawling or simply lying down in complete confidence.
2 – Pay attention to the quality of materials: choose a sturdy mat that’s easy to clean
About baby bouncers, you need to look for
1 – the right seat for comfort and security: your baby must be able to sit up in complete safety, leaving you free and relaxed as you cook, work at the computer or do other activities.
It is best to choose a bouncer with an adjustable and multifunctional back rest, which will allow your child to play, rest or sleep.
2 – Playing bar included: as we already said, this helps develop sensory and motor abilities in babies, by encouraging them to try and grab the toys and puppets and by teaching them to recognise shapes and colours.