Activity gym happens to be a very important part of every baby's developmental growth. But instead of weights and treadmills, the baby gym is usually made out of various toys for your infant.
Normally the structure of the baby gyms involves most of the toys dangling from a frame in an arch shape. Some gyms have activity mats as part of the set, while with others you may have to buy the mat separately. Basically, the activity gym is meant to enhance an infant's gross motor skills, build muscles and stimulate movement. Whatever the case, ensure that you only go for a non-toxic activity gym.
There are several things to consider when picking the right activity gym. And below we have listed some of the most essential steps to a perfect activity gym.
1.Must rest flat on the floor
The activity gym must either be a free-standing structure or one that has a flat mat underneath it. Any other form restricts the most essential needs for the baby to develop properly. The activity gym should allow freedom of movement and enhance sensory processing skills. Meaning that activity gyms that come with a foam wedge, an infant lounge pillow, chair or any other baby positioned; is not recommended for good development.
2.Wide range of positions to hang toys
Most occupational therapists will tell you the importance of the early motor skill of head-turning. This means you will focus on more of tummy-time than belly-up position. Belly-up position puts a lot of pressure at the back of the baby's head which is not good. Therefore you want to have a wide range of positions to hang the toys and not just directly above the baby. Purchase an activity gym that will help encourage head-turning. It is also an advantage if your baby is one of the nearly 50% with head flattening.
3.Visually Simple Activity Gym
The main form of play that your baby will know in the first few weeks of their life is wiggling and looking. And because babies are known to be colour-blind, near-sighted and mostly attracted to high contrast; it goes without question that simple shapes are a better choice. This is to say that, it is best to go for a visually simple activity gym.
With every week, your baby will be moving from one stage to another. Keeping this in mind, you must ensure that the activity gym can be made to adjust to your baby. Meaning that as the weeks pass and baby can now swipe and grasp at objects; you should have the flexibility of being able to change the toys on the non-toxic activity gym.
More than anything else, an activity gym should aid motor learning and development of the baby. Meaning it should easily to separate the mat below from the activity gym, to help the child move and turn easily. This should create room for the baby to roll over from belly to back easily without restriction. With this, you will facilitate proper rolling and extend baby's playtime by allowing face-to-face time.
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