Which baby gyms are best?
Aside from the rare superhuman baby able to bench press their body weight from birth, most babies require gyms to help them hit necessary developmental milestones. Instead of labor-intensive squats, ab-burning crunches and hitting 10 miles on a bike, baby gyms promote varying positions to help build strength. Some of these include reaching, grasping and rolling.
One of the best baby gyms available to help with visual, auditory, touch and cognitive development is the Lupantte 7-in-1 Baby Play Gym.
What to know before you buy a baby gym
The best baby gyms are typically extremely easy to set up and dismantle. Some of these baby gyms come as one piece that simply folds up and takes less than a few minutes to put away.
While the most comfortable gyms fold up in one piece, some are more permanent and require some screws and time to assemble. You can also find baby gyms like the Lovevery Play Gym that disassembles into separate pieces.
If there’s one inescapable fact about newborns, it’s that messes happen. It’s a fact of life and a tradition to clean up your baby’s spit-up and drool. However, it’s not just your baby’s mess that you must clean after. It seems regardless of the number of times you clean your floors, dust, dirt and hair always collect.
For your sanity and your baby’s safety, it’s best to look for a machine-washable mat. Sometimes you’ll come across mats that can only be spot cleaned or dry cleaned. If that’s the case, have a few extras on hand, so you don’t have to make a special trip to your local cleaners every day.
Not every play mat is the same, and size matters for the best baby gyms. When you consider how quickly babies grow, it makes sense financially to go with a larger, plushier mat to last at least a couple of years.
Another factor to keep an eye on is the mat’s padding. Some medium- to large-sized mats lack sufficient padding, making it uncomfortable for your baby to play to their heart’s desire.
What to look for in a quality baby gym
All baby gyms, from the most basic to the larger ones with more toys, are designed for your baby to engage with. Babies can use a majority of the gyms from the time they’re born. While the newborns and younger babies look at the toys above them, older ones will start engaging and developing their hand-eye coordination skills.
Other stimulating features to look for include different textures for their senses, mirrors, rattles and brightly colored toys. Babies develop their auditory skills by listening to the sounds rattles make and by actively pulling, kicking and squeezing other toys and fabric.
Colors and patterns
Patterns and colors are essential in children’s development, especially when newborns can only stare at the toys and designs in the gym. As children start to soak in the vast world around them, colors are the first thing that helps them distinguish between objects.
Bright colors are important during this stage of their lives because they’re easier for young children to see, and like adults, color affects their mood and behavior. Young children’s eyes aren’t fully developed when they start to notice bright colors. They’re drawn to bright, contrasting colors because of the lack of development, making brighter colors stand out and, ultimately, more interesting.
Varying positions, like tummy time, are an important developmental step for children. For example, tummy time helps to strengthen their upper body, including their head and neck. This helps children build the coordination they need to roll over, crawl, and reach for things on their own eventually.
When in baby gyms, newborns and younger children are typically always on their backs. That position helps them to develop hand-eye coordination and other motor skills. They also build core strength on their backs as they constantly start grabbing their toes and kicking.
Laying on their sides helps babies to develop balance as well as encourage upper body strength. It’s helpful to use a rolled-up blanket or soft bag to support their side-lying position.
How much you can expect to spend on a baby gym
You can expect to pay between $40-$90 for a baby gym that has all the essentials and more.
Baby gym FAQ
Is a playmat necessary?
A. Playmats and baby gyms not only help your child reach their developmental milestones but also gives your arms a chance to rest. It’s an opportunity to text back your coworker, make dinner or even use the bathroom without holding your child. Baby gyms help develop auditory, visual, sensory, motor skills and help strengthen the muscles throughout their body.
When can my baby start using a baby gym?
A. Babies can use play gyms from the time they’re born, but you might find that they’ll just lay there in their earlier months. Once they reach 3-6 months of age, you’ll notice them starting to reach for the toys they’ve been staring at for so long.
What are the best baby gyms to buy?
Top baby gym
What you need to know: Lupantte features an amazing baby gym with six different removable toys and a tummy pillow to help your baby develop to the fullest.
What you’ll love: This play gym comes with two washable mat covers fitted with particles to help prevent slips on wooden or tile floors. It also comes with six different removable toys that stimulate each sense and keep your baby entertained. It’s the perfect all-around baby gym for newborns up to twelve months old.
What you should consider: Some may prefer a bolder color scheme compared to the pastel ones offered.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top baby gym for the money
What you need to know: Infantino created this play gym with families needing to occupy their baby throughout the house in mind.
What you’ll love: You would think that a couple of balls would suffice, but Infantino made sure your baby is satisfied by providing 40 balls that you can store in a storage bag shaped like a cute sloth. Its’ extremely portable, so you’re not limited to a single room. You can move around the house and bring your baby and play gym with you.
What you should consider: Some parents may be concerned about the safety of the ball pit.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This product is a dream come true for minimalist parents looking for an eco-friendly, all-natural play gym for newborns.
What you’ll love: Beautifully designed, this product features all-natural pine wood free of any chemicals. All the toy attachments for your baby are made from BPA-free silicone, making it safe to teethe on. It’s rapid to assemble and doesn’t take up much storage space.
What you should consider: Some buyers expressed a lack of durability.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Christopher Lee writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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