Knowing the necessary steps to clean your baby’s floor mats can go a long way in ensuring the good health of your child since fluffy materials tend to keep and retain a lot of dust and dirt that if not properly and regularly cleaned can bring about harm to your child.
Types of Baby Mats
Baby mats are available in many varieties and are the main categories according to their uses.
Playmats and floor mats are padded and pretty good-looking, which provides safety for your child to spend time on.
Puzzle mats are the perfect foundation for children who are just learning to explore. It is made up of extra-thick foam and has a pattern of puzzles that leaves your toddler quizzical and makes them wasn’t to learn more.
The puzzle mats contain textured pieces that equip the toddlers with a sense of interaction. This creates a haven for your child to play.
Tummy time mats are mainly used when the baby’s playtime involves them staying awake and lying on their tummy. It is made up of a padded bolster pillow that supports the toddler’s tummy during tummy time play.
Gym floor mats simply play mats that provide stimulating and engaging environments for your little ones. These mats tend to be equated to tummy time mats, but they have perks that tummy time mats do not possess.
They contain repositionable toys that encourage battling and grabbing, ring attachments, overreaching arches, and hanging toys.
Foldable play mats – these play mats are easy to twist and fold. It is more compact for storage because it can be easily folded. This makes it easily mobile is appropriate for travel and outdoor play activities. It is mostly used to boost tummy time for babies.
Benefits of Baby Mats
Baby mats can be helpful to toddlers in the following ways:
- Cognitive development – these mats help in the stimulation of essential primary circular reactions. Repetitive action, i.e. the pulling, kicking, and grabbing of toys intentionally leads to the kids’ development. These mats and interaction with the toys help the kids develop spatial and reasoning awareness.
- Visual development – mats increase the extent of the baby’s visual perceptual skills because of the availability of contrasting and bright colors equipped with colorful accessories that increase visual development.
- Motor development – crawling around the mat helps to build core strength and muscular structure. Lying down the stomach, which is an essential part of the posture in increasing the strength of the neck and the back region.
- Independence – encouraging independence among babies is highly crucial in the growth of the baby and helps in the proper growth of the baby’s intellectual, physical, and emotional skills.
Independence is achieved by allowing them to crawl, move their hands freely, no restricting their movements, and limiting yourself from continually holding them for so long. With the help of a baby mat, it is entirely possible to achieve all this without any need for a stimulus or motivation.
Caring for the Mats
Caring for your baby mats does not necessarily involve only the aspect of washing. Other practices include:
- Pets can easily damage mats because they tend to dig their nails and scratch the aby mats. The mats should be protected from the pets so that they can last longer
- If the mat purchased is a roll-up, you should ensure that the edges when you roll them up lay flat so that it does not lead to the last year of the folded edges of the mats. Also, this ensures that the integrity of the mat is maintained
- Do not place heavy furniture on top of the playmats because it leaves a dent and permanent depressions on the mat
- Mats should be regularly washed to get rid of the dust in them, and I will show how to clean baby floor mats
- Adult supervision though not necessary, is highly recommended to protect the toddler from potentially although highly unlikely, bringing about damage to the mat or hurting themselves
- Ensure that you read through all the instructions to maintain the mat appropriately and for long
Cleaning Your Baby Mats
Chemicals Used to Clean Baby Mats
Water and microfiber cloth is the most commonly used things in the cleaning of baby floor mats. Purchasing the right microfiber cloth is vital to get rid of all the spillage in the mats.
In combination with gentle detergents and warm water, these work wonderfully. Bleaching agents are corrosive and should not be used in the cleaning of baby floor mats.
Don’ts in Cleaning Baby Floor Mats
Here are some of the things you should avoid doing or using while cleaning your baby mats.
- Using products with bleach alcohols, natural citrus oils, essential oils, and abrasive agents may discolor and even damage the baby play mats. Going ahead to fix this with spray colors may lead to further damage; hence it is not a good idea to use these products
- Steam cleaning leads to the weakening of the fibers that hold the baby mats together, leading to disintegration and loss of the integrity of the mats. Tear and wear are also mainly caused by this, and it is expensive having to purchase a new carper now and then
- Some baby wipes brands may have discoloration and damaging effect on the mat’s surface, so it is essential to know the type of mat you possess and what products are suitable for them
- Avoid hot, sharp, and rough from coming in contact with the playmats because of the scorches and burns it brings about to the mats
- Although it is encouraged to let your baby play with crayons and markers on the play mat, permanent markers will leave a stain on the mat, leaving an unpleasant scene on it
- Prolonged sunlight and high temperatures on the mats cause deterioration of the mat. Do not use the mat outside for too long
Different types of baby mats will require a different type of cleaning and steps in cleaning your baby floor mats vary according to the material used in making the mats.
Materials Used in Baby Mat Production and How to Clean Each Baby Mat
Baby play mats are produced in a variety of colors, sizes and different materials are used in production to achieve a particular effect on the mat produced. These materials include:
Effective Ways and Steps of Cleaning Each of These Baby Mats
Rubber mats dry relatively fast and can be cleaned using a solution of water, vinegar, and essential oil. Bleach and any other harsh chemicals corrode these mats, and it is not advisable to use them. The solution should be made thick and pasty-like to allow you to scrub the stain out of a rubber playmat.
Intense scrubbing is unnecessary. The correct procedure is:
Make a solution out of the water, vinegar, and the desired essential oils.
Spread the paste over the stain.
Let the paste lie for about 10 minutes.
Scrub gently with a wet rag or cloth.
This leaves your rubber playmat looking good as new.
Fabric play mats can double up and be used as carpets making a room with hard floors safer for your child. They are safe to be washed in the washing machine with a mild detergent. Most brands have their own customized instruction on cleaning their products.
This can come in handy when you want to know how to clean fabric baby floor mats. However, be keen when washing fabric mats because they can absorb liquids and stain if you are not careful.
These are not necessarily made as mats but as plastic play yards, but because of the similarity in uses with baby floor mats; thus, they can be rightly categorized as baby floor mats. Plastic is the most comfortable material to clean in the playroom.
This is because of its low absorption property. A little soap and water will do the trick in cleaning the plastic mats.
Tough stains on plastic material can be removed by the use of a solution of water and vinegar. The vinegar reacts with the stain and dirt, destroying it, leading to its eventual removal. Desired essential oils may be added for a pleasant smell and to get rid of the odor.
How to Clean Baby foam Mat
Foam floor mats bring about great comfort in the baby’s room. It has become dirty during playtime either by juice spillage, sweat on it, or writings by crayons and it has to be cleaned. This can be done by use of simple household items such as broom and vacuum and some conventional gentle household detergents.
You can use a vacuum to vacuum the foam mats gently. You can even simply sweep the mat. If the foam mats interlock, it is advisable to use a vacuum without the spinning brushes to prevent damage to the mats. In cases where there is dirt stuck on the mat, spinning brushes mildly used can prove useful.
Use a damp mop on the floor mats. In the case of wet spills, essential household cleaners will assist in ensuring the stain is gotten rid of. Use a damp mop to apply the cleaner to the mat.
Perform light to moderate scrubbing to completely get rid of the spillage and ensures that it is left smelling nice. Pre-soaking the mat is not advisable because the liquid seeps through the mat into the bottom where it gets trapped and leaves dampness that takes a while to get rid of.
Use a scrubber. A non-abrasive rag or scrubber is used in the instance of soil, e.g. clay and tough stains. These persistent stains that have dried for a while on the mat may prove cumbersome to remove, and you can even take the mat to the sink and scrub them thoroughly to get rid of the dirt.
In the case of closed-cell EVA foam, it is no-absorbent, and you can even take them outside and hose them down. Ensure that they are appropriately scorched though before bringing them in.
Cleaning Vinyl Covered foam Baby Mats
The process in these types might be a little different than the plain foam mats.
The main difference arises in using a damp mop because in this case, you have to be careful with the amount of water or cleaner you use in cleaning. After all, the vinyl coating at all costs is not supposed to absorb any liquid.
It is advisable in the case of mild dirt, use a damp towel for aggressive cleaning. Wipes are a great way of cleaning this type of mat because they have dampness and anti-bacterial detergents pre-installed in them.
How to Clean Baby Tummy Time Mat
If you don’t have a washing machine, do not worry. You can use a simple homemade solution made by mixing baking soda and water.
The solution needs to be pre-soaked on the mat for some time before being thoroughly washed. After soaking, use a scrubber to clean away the dirt that had accumulated on the mat. A damp cloth can also be used.
How to Clean Baby Care Brand Playmates
These types of mats are popular among eco-friendly families. They are made up of PVC material. They are no-toxic and double-sided. They provide a safe and hygienic place for babies to play.
They are easily portable and are ideal on hardwood floors. The most exciting fact is that they are waterproof and any spillage on it rolls down on tilting it.
You can use a damp cloth to wipe any solid debris off it, and the stains are persistent, you can use a scrubber or hose it down outdoors. These mats are ridiculously easy to clean and do not retain any odor.
How to Clean Water Mats
Water mats are made of plastic to ensure they remain afloat in pools and are inflatable. They are used during playdates with babies in swimming pools, tubs, or jacuzzies while taking a bath. They are generally easy to clean. Using the steps stated on how to clean plastic mats will work.
How to Clean Gym Floor Mats
Rubber gym floor mats are a little tricky and challenging to clean. You can use an inexpensive cleaning solution made by mixing a cup of white vinegar with one gallon of hot water. This solution is then applied to the mat with a sponge, cloth, or mop.
How Often to Clean Baby Play Mats
The standard wash period is after the mat has been used twice. Babies are incredibly messy and at a quick rate. Light washes should occur after every playtime, but after the second playdate, be sure to thoroughly wash the baby mat to prevent them from becoming sick.
After the first play date, spot cleans the mat using a damp cloth and lightly wipe away dirt and debris before the next use. It is advisable to clean it immediately after the playdate to allow for it to dry thoroughly.
On the second wash, mop the mat or wash it according to the steps provided above considering what the mat is made of. This is encouraged for all baby play items, including toys to disinfect them and keep germs away.
The observance is the key, and using your discretion here is encouraged because the playfulness of babies varies and your baby might be extraordinarily playful and tends to identify the mat at a faster rate. This will also depend on how often your baby uses the play items.
Buying Guides on How to Clean Baby Floor Mats
When purchasing a floor mat for your baby, you need to consider the following:
The comfort and safety of the mat– prioritizing the comfort of the mat is critical. Extra cushioning on the mat will save your child from cold.
Cleaning – the purchased carpet should be easy to clean and should be water-resistant so that it will soak and dry quickly.
Excellent quality – deciding the quality should be based on the weather of your area, which dictates the type of material the purchased mat will contain.
How long do babies play with the activity mats – depending on the duration the babies use on the mats; the material and the number of layers will dictate the brand and type of mat to purchase.
Interactive toys – play mats with lights and colorful toys are ideal for child growth and development.
Possible modifications – as your baby grows older, it is to be noted that they lose their appeal and the same mat has become boring to the child. Transformation into ball pits and integration of problem-solving elements, e.g. complex puzzle mat plugins might be a good idea. If the purchased mat initially allows this, then it is the most suitable to buy.
Final Thoughts on How to Clean Baby Floor Mats
Cleaning baby floor mats can be a stressful endeavor, and knowing the steps to clean your baby floor mats can unburden you from this load. Cleaning baby floor mats is a vital process in child growth and is a process that should be keenly undertaken.
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