Well-designed baby mats and gyms to keep your little one happy

A break for the parents.

kid on a mat
A place off the floor.Amazon

Having an infant is wonderful in many ways, but sometimes you need to put them down. It’s not that you don’t love holding them close, but we all need a moment to drink our coffee. You’ll be a better mom once you wake up, after all. The right play mat or gym will put your mind at ease. Your little one will be by your side, stimulated and comfortable, while you do the crossword. Here are four of our favorite baby mats and gyms that you will surely recommend to all your friends in no time.

Baby Care Play Mat - Haute Collection
A place for them to play all day.Amazon

If you read “baby mat” and immediately cringed at the thought of ugly plastic, check this one out. It’s one of our favorites because there are a number of attractive reversible prints. Think of this like a new rug—it’s the size of a queen mattress. It just so happens to be waterproof, which is great for when your baby spits up on it. It’s extremely cushy, and it’s made from nontoxic materials, which we know is important to you. When your little one starts taking her first steps, you’ll also appreciate the non-slip surface.

Tadpoles Soft EVA Foam 36 Piece ABC Playmat Set
A little foam for your home.Amazon

Those of you who don’t mind louder colors should look into this Tadpoles mat. It’s a large nontoxic foam option (72 x 72 inches) that your sweetie will love. You will love it too because you can take it with you anywhere—it breaks down into 36 pieces. The pieces happen to be 12 inch squares that feature all the letters in the alphabet and number 0-9. When your baby gets older, this can easily become a handy learning tool. Not only will they start learning their numbers and letters, this mat also has interlocking puzzle edges that will help them tune their fine motor skills.

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick 'n Play Piano Gym
Keep them happy for hours.Amazon

This is a classic, well-loved baby gym that won’t take up too much space. Fisher-Price knows what they’re doing—this gym accommodates three stages of development. When she’s very small, there are bright colors, music, and lights to keep her entertained. As she gets older, she can start to learn about different animals and their noises. Eventually she will learn shapes and numbers too. We love that this gym has all of that going for it and can fit on your couch. It’s machine washable too, which makes clean up super easy.

Skip Hop Treetop Friends Baby Developmental Play Mat
A mat with trees and bees... yes please.Amazon

This is a great baby gym that will spare you a headache. There’s lots for your little one to do without music and animal noises. We love that Skip Hop got creative—there are crinkle leaves, a squeaker flower and a baby-safe mirror. It comes with five hanging toys, which are bound to keep your baby cooing. We also love that it comes with a special tummy time pillow to help your baby build strength. It’s a great balance between colorful and blinding; the colors are soothing on your eyes, but they’ll be just as fun for your cutie.