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When did you start using a baby playmat/gym?

Hi all,

My baby is 2 1/2 weeks old. He spends his days in his moses basket - and some time in a bouncy chair. Although he has some grisly time during the day he sleeps quite well during the night.

I have started wondering if maybe during the day I should be doing more with him while he is awake - and perhaps this is why I he is unsettled when I put him down - as he simply does not want to sleep?

At just a few weeks old can he really see much to benefit from a playmat? I haven't bought one yet and so wondered what people could advise.



  • I didn't use - or even buy - a playmat until my daughter was about 6 weeks I think. Sounds like you're doing plenty with your son already at that age they should really only be awake for about an hour at a time if I remember correctly! I cuddled my daughter to sleep until she was about 3 months as I found she wouldn't go to sleep herself perhaps he's just looking for some comfort from mummy?
  • ds was 3 weeks, would've used it sooner but didn't buy one until he was 3weeks old...this time i'll probably start using it sooner, as soon as she starts having slightly more 'awake' periods, especially if she's like ds, he could only stand his bouncy chair for abnout 5-10minutes at atime, if we were lucky! have u got a mobile or soemhting for over the moses basket? x
  • I think I used our playmat once or twice at about 5 weeks but started using it properly at about 8 weeks. It was around that time that I noticed she was really starting to take notice of the toys and mirror etc.
    I think a baby as young as 2 1/2 weeks can get easily over-stimulated and their awake time is so short usually. Your interaction with baby by talking, singing, cuddling is probably enough right now. My little girl also used to like sitting in her bouncer or swing and snoozing and watching me getting on with some chores too.
  • DS2 started paying attention to things from about 5 weeks onwards. Now he is 9 weeks and won't stay on it for too long, I find me playing with him keeps him happier for the longest time. And for that I could just put him on the rug!!

    With DS1, he was happy to stay on his playmat for up to an hour and at times, wasn't bothered if we interacted with him or not!! Helped getting jobs done!! DS2 seems to require my attention more... not that I am complaining... bored of housework anyway!! hehe! xx
  • I tried the gym for the first time at 2 weeks, but it wasn't until she was about 5 or 6 weeks that she started trying to bat at the toys. By 9 weeks she could entertain herself there for about 10 minutes if I had to make a phone call. We still use it occasionally now, at 6 months, as she is getting mobile by rolling in succession, and as it has an arch over it that stops her from rolling the length of the room if I need to get something done. She also likes to sit or stand at it and play with the toys that way.
  • Imogen is 17 days old and has loved her playmat since week 2. She reaches and stretches and enjoys herself. It only lasts about 10-15 mins but its great to see her doing something visual xx
  • About 2-3 weeks ago, he just used to lie on it for hours and often had his day-time sleeps there too xx
  • I had the playmat from day 1 and it was a godsend!! Even when she was only 3-4 weeks old I had her lie on it on a comfy padded cushion and it at least gave her something else to look at - she loved looking at herself in a mirror I fastened to one side of it! lol Playmat was my best item, it really enabled me to get things done too when she needed more stimulation xx
  • We used the play gym for both DS1 & DS2 from birth. We've got the Fisher Price Rainforest one which plays music & also has flashing lights so they were interested in these from early on.
  • from week one we had the playmat though I quickly realised she couldn't tolerate very long with the music on - she would lie and gaze in the mirror and things tho from very early on. From about probably 7 or 8 weeks she learned to bat at the toys and now at 17 weeks she spends most of her playtime on a mat and kicks/bats/strokes at things etc - don't know how she doesn't get bored but she doesn't seem to!
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