Soft surface: play mats for babies: Parents should pay attention to this when buying

There are small and large play mats for babies: depending on whether they are purely for entertainment or are also used as a cushioning pad (with insulating properties), you should give some thought to the most important purchase criteria before you buy them.

Soft surface: play mats for babies: Parents should pay attention to this when buying

There are small and large play mats for babies: depending on whether they are purely for entertainment or are also used as a cushioning pad (with insulating properties), you should give some thought to the most important purchase criteria before you buy them. What these are and how common models for at home and on the go differ is summarized below.

Size: Depending on whether you only want to use the play mat at home or, for example, on vacation, the size is an important criterion: There are small and compact models on which babies cannot always lie, but for general amusement (and activity ) of your child. If the pad is to be used as a place to crawl in the children's room, a larger play mat is an option. Here it makes sense to measure the free area of ​​the floor in advance.

Material: As with many other new purchases for babies, the material plays an important role. Not only should it be wipeable in the event of a mishap, it should also be free from harmful substances. For this reason, many play mats are made of soft to medium-hard PE foam (without plasticizers). Plastics such as PP (polypropylene), EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer) should also be free of harmful ingredients.

Function: Along with the size and thickness, the weight and insulating properties of a baby play mat also vary. There are thin models that are up to one centimeter high and thicker models that are two centimeters or more thick. Depending on how old and agile your child is (and how cold the floor is), you should pay attention to the different functions before buying.

Structure: If the soft pad is not to lie on the floor all day at home or on holiday, it is important that it can be set up and taken down quickly and easily. Depending on the manufacturer, there are rollable and foldable models - or even play mats that simply have to be put together. Before making your purchase, think about which variant is right for you.

1. Puzzlematte

A popular model in many households is the non-slip puzzle mat (tested by TÜV Rheinland): A colorful play mat for babies made of EVA foam, which is made up of 26 letters (from A to Z) and nine digits (zero to nine). The special thing about the more than 3.5 square meter mat is that it can be expanded with other sets as required.

2. Water Mat

It only takes up little space and still provides entertainment: This small play mat from Haba (height: 36 centimetres, width: 32 centimetres) is surrounded by a soft fabric cover and filled with water. In addition, the model offers all sorts of things for curious babies to discover: loops with crackling foil, a teething ring and movable elements such as leaves, a heart and a fish.

3. Soundmatte

Babies explore their surroundings not only with their eyes, but with their ears. For this reason, this interactive sound mat offers lots of farm-themed noises for children aged 12 months and over. The playset is even bilingual (German and English), so your child can hear more than 500 words in two different languages.

4. Play arch

This play mat combines two functions at the same time: it serves as a soft base for babies (from birth) and its play arch promotes motor skills. With musical elements, different lights, rings and a mirror, the mat offers all sorts of things to discover - and allows you to play on your back or on your stomach.

5. Double-sided mat

So that it doesn't get boring and your baby gets tired of the motifs on the play mat made of non-toxic XPE foam, this foldable model has two differently printed sides: one with colorful fish and one with all the continents of the world. Both surfaces are non-slip and waterproof, making them easy to clean.

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