The term "baby gym" is kind of hilarious – like a four-month old does push-ups or sweats to the oldies, right? Yet, a wide assortment of cute, colorful mats with dangling noisemakers really do give your baby a gentle workout.
Visual. For one, those baby gyms that are made with bold patterns or bright primary colors are made that way for a reason. Baby's retinas are still trying to process how to see color, so high contrasts are easier for them to see and, thus keep their attention. This contrast gives them the stimulation they need for the visual center of their little brain to develop. It's not like they're immediately able to identify the dangling doo-hickeys they're looking up at, but as their sight develops, they'll be able to focus on, and eventually reach for them. And human beings, no matter how small, benefit from setting goals now and again.
Physical. Exercise is a necessary evil for EVERYONE – even new people! At first, baby's movements may seem random, but that's cool. Baby gyms are an opportunity for your baby to develop muscle control and prep them for the seemingly Herculean tasks ahead of them in the coming months – like reaching, stretching, learning to enjoy tummy time, and the biggie – rolling over. The toys designed to hang over them provide the inspiration – or bait, if you will. At first they lay there, randomly squirming about, right? After many workouts, you'll notice your baby is starting to reach for and grab what they want – a milestone in and of itself!
Mental. You think your bambino wants to look in your face all day? Well … they probably do. But a baby gym gives them the opportunity to focus on other objects over time and practice the lifelong truism of cause and effect. Will that rattle make noise if I kick it? Will that toy feel squishy? By playing with the same objects time and again, baby's brain will learn to make these associations and so many more.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.