How Fisher-Price’s Playmat and Accessories Inspired my Baby to Roll Around

How Fisher-Price’s Playmat and Accessories Inspired my Baby to Roll Around

Fisher-Price is synonymous with children’s toys and with good reason. The 3-in-1 Playmat has been a hit with my baby for the past four months and counting!

PROS

> Compact and easy to travel with (fits into the inner top flap of a suitcase)
> Colourful, engaging accessories – especially the musical lion
> Arches are well secured and baby-proof (so far!)

CONS

> Bigger babies can get entangled when rolling inside the playmat

Available for around $40. Check it out at:
> Amazon US: Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym, see also: the Woodland Friends design and the Pink design
> Amazon UK: Fisher Price CHP85 Rainforest Friends 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym
> Amazon.in: Fisher Price 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym, Multi Color
> Souq: Fisher-Price CHP85 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym


Full review of Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym

I received this playmat as a gift when baby was born. It comes with five hanging toys – a baby-safe mirror, a plush zebra, a plastic rattle giraffe, a flat chewable monkey and a toy with two rings that clack against each other. It also comes with a musical lion – when you rotate the green oval under the lion’s chin it plays music. There are two audio settings – one which plays short clips and a second that plays continuous music.

I first introduced to toy to baby when we received it, at three weeks. Way too soon. He had no clue what is was!

As he approached three months, he started to engage with the toys and colors. His favorite at the time was the polka dotted arch – the colors must have called out to him; he was enchanted. He also loved the musical lion – we would hold it up and make it dance as the music played. He was affixed and the toy would engage him for a good 15-odd minutes.

He slowly started reaching out for the toys – the zebra was a hit, then the giraffe, then rings  – and a lot later the monkey (it’s still his least favorite – he prefers to chew on the zebra and the mirror instead). Side-note: he chews on ANY baby mirror, he loves mirrors.

When he learned how to roll from his back to tummy, he was fascinated by the design on the play mat instead. Around this time (four months), he began to really reach for the polka dot arch – at first to touch and then to eat. In the process, he got a lot of good practice at flipping to each side as well as rolling back to tummy. (According to Mr. Google, a lot of babies roll tummy to back first, but we’ve had the opposite experience. In fact, at six months, he’s still pretty bad at rolling tummy to back, much to my inconvenience.)

There’s just one thing when babies flip though… it isn’t neatly sideways. It’s in any and all directions. With all the movement either his head or his legs would end up outside the playmat. This didn’t stop him of course and that’s when the playmat started collapsing in on him. Luckily, he didn’t mind at all, in fact he would continue playing for a few minutes before calling out for mommy. So I had to come in every few minutes to untangle him from the playmat and sometimes flip him over.

And, it’s super portable!

The advantage of the compact nature of the playmat is that it’s really easy to carry with you. I’ve taken it to a friend’s place with great success and also on holiday.

At six months old…

At six months, he seems to have outgrown the playmat. I place him in the larger one now, so that he has more room to roll around. I’ve transferred the zebra to the other playmat. The lion is now a stand-alone toy. Baby’s nearly learned how to roll the green ‘disc’ and to get the music playing! Or rather, he hits the lion so many times he hits the right point quite often!

I do, however, have to hide the lion on some days. Baby gets easily frustrated with musical toys when he can’t control the music by himself and gets quite worked up.

Another thing I like about the playmat (true for all paymats) is that I can change the toys really easily to ‘spice things up.’ In the photo below, is our Lamaze parrot in one of the extra side slots.

Bottom-line: You won’t be disappointed in the Fisher-Price playmat. There’s a reason it’s called an “Activity Gym,” it’ll keep your baby busy reaching for things, rolling around and crawling!

I have the Rainforest Friends design, and the others are real cute too.

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BabyCenter – Birth Club
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KellyMom.com (Blog)
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La Leche League (Organization)
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Your Baby Week by Week (Book)
A helpful breakdown of what to expect, from weeks 0 to 26. Take the advice with a pinch of salt – all babies are different.

The Wonder Weeks (Book/App)
A guide to baby’s mental development milestones and chart showing when baby will enter fussy periods (fairly accurate).

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