Right from birth a baby keeps working hard at developing control over his muscles and finding out about the world around him. To help him on his way, there is a whole host of toys and play equipment available, designed to improve skills from coordination to communication. Even newborns have their own gym equipment these days, is it really important to have it? Lets read on to find out...
While you love to hold your baby and play with him/her, but every once and a while you need to put that baby down! What you need is something fun for your baby to use that doesn’t take much set up and allows your baby to move and work on their development skills. The solution to this problem just may be a baby gym!
How does using a baby gym benefit your baby?
- Eye-Hand Coordination - When you give your baby interesting things to look at, his hand-eye coordination develops much faster. While in the baby gym your baby bats at toys working on his/her eye hand coordination.
- Improved Focus - To begin with, your baby focuses most easily on things that are close to him, but he will soon become better at following a moving object.
- Visual Tracking - This can begin early as baby watches the different objects suspended from the baby gym.It won't be long before just looking at something isn't enough for your baby. He will try to do something about it and take a swipe at it!
- Sensory Stimulation - The colors, textures, and some even come with sounds! All this gives sensory stimulation to the baby. Reaching out and touching things gives your baby a sense of control over his body.
- Core Strengthening – When your babies kick and reach for toys they are giving themselves a great core workout! A variety of objects that do different things when your babies swing them will be a voyage of discovery for them. They'll help your little one realize that he can have an effect on the world.
The baby gym can be used right from the day baby is born. Use it for tummy time. Separate the mat from the gym if you’d like and you have a tummy time mat.
- Tummy Time – Tummy time can start right on the play mat. If you have a mat that can detach from the gym it can serve as a tummy time mat. It’s also very convenient for cleaning purposes! Another non-conventional way for tummy time is have baby watch the baby gym for visual stimulation while in tummy time!
- Toy Placement – Be sure that toys aren’t always placed directly above your baby’s head. When looking for your baby gym you should consider a gym that gives you the ability to place toys in different slots. Also note that your baby is getting opportunities to turn their head both ways while in the baby gym.
- Side Lying Play – Side lying play can give a different perspective of viewing to the baby. It is important to keep changing sides.
- Back Play – We hear about tummy time play all the time. It’s very important but free play on the back is important too. Your baby needs to know all directions of their body!