10 Best Baby Gyms | March 2017

We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Your little ones won't know that they're not just having fun with one of these baby gyms. The activity they stimulate also helps to develop fine motor skills, coordination, balance, sound recognition and more. Oh, and they also allow you to get a few minutes of much-needed relaxation in, too. Skip to the best baby gym on Amazon.
10 Best Baby Gyms | March 2017


Overall Rank: 2
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 7
Best High-End
★★★
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The Bright Starts Charming Chirps is a good choice for parents on a budget. It is $20 less than almost every other option on our list, but it has less activities and doesn't have any interactive lights.
9
The Plan Toys Planpreschool gives your baby the chance to play with a natural wood gym. It is made of chemical free rubberwood and nontoxic paint, so you never have to worry about exposing your child to dangerous chemicals.
8
The Infantino Grow-with-me is an incredible value. Not only is it a fully featured baby activity gym, but it also transforms into a fun ball pit, with 40 multicolored balls that can be stored in the turtle's head when not in use.
7
Start your baby's learning of the alphabet early with the Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo, which has letters printed on the quilt for tummy time play. The mat surface is quilted for extra softness, making it comfortable and useful.
  • offers a variety of tactile experiences
  • doesn't show wear after machine washing
  • toys can be hung high or low
Brand Skip Hop
Model 307300
Weight 3 pounds
6
The Fisher-Price Rainforest Deluxe responds to your baby's movements with attention grabbing lights and sounds. It will easily keep them entertained while you focus on getting some much needed relaxation.
  • two modes of play
  • plays realistic rainforest sounds
  • has soft satin spinning butterflies
Brand Fisher-Price
Model K4562
Weight 5.5 pounds
5
The Fisher-Price Moonlight Meadow Deluxe has more features than you can imagine. It includes 6 linkable activity toys, a self-discovery mirror, and a removable plush tummy wedge with glowing lights and music.
  • designed for easy fold 'n go portability
  • helps foster baby’s fine motor skills
  • only two of the toys are soft
Brand Fisher-Price
Model CLJ47
Weight 3.5 pounds
4
Using electronic lights, soothing sounds, and fun music, the Bright Starts will keep your baby happy. Sounds can be activated by you or your child kicking, so it also helps teach the concept of cause and effect.
  • 8 loops available for attaching toys
  • mat is machine washable
  • has over 20 minutes of different sounds
Brand Bright Starts
Model 9217
Weight 6.4 pounds
3
The Taf Toys Curiosity will keep your newborn busy for hours. It has four removable activity toys - a musical ball, squeaking giraffe, jittering lizard and a chime bell butterfly - plus the mat includes a mirror.
  • comes with tummy pillow
  • arches are removable
  • bright colors offer a lot of stimulation
Brand Taf Toys
Model 10835
Weight 4.6 pounds
2
Every part of the Lil' Jumbl is covered with soft, plush material that feels smooth on baby's skin. It's versatile enough that your child will feel comfortable whether lying or sitting, and it comes in three color options.
  • very simple to assemble
  • thick, extra padded mat
  • toys hang at just the right height
Brand Lil' Jumbl
Model LJ-PM-01-W
Weight 1.5 pounds
1
The Skip Hop Treetop Friends offers great mental and physical stimulation for your newborn or toddler. It has 17 different activities using 5 playful multi-sensory hanging toys to help development.
  • includes crinkle leaves and squeakers
  • oversized round mat surface
  • nature-inspired graphics and textures
Brand Skip Hop
Model 307500
Weight 3 pounds

Your Baby Needs to Play

You might think your baby is an immobile blob in those first few months of his life, but he's actually taking in his environment and learning everything that he can. The right activity gym can help your baby interact with his environment.

A baby's activity gym activates all five of his senses. When your baby is grabbing for the toys hanging above his head, he's developing his motor skills. When he's hanging out on the tummy time pillow, he's improving his head and neck strength and preparing his body for crawling.

When he touches the different textures and looks at the vibrant colors, he learns about the environment around him. If his activity gym plays music or has crinkling material, he is exploring the sounds in his surroundings.

In addition to the physical benefits and the improvement of the senses, activity gyms are developed so that they stimulate brain activity and imaginative play. The varying colors, textures, and shapes allow them to explore and learn about their surroundings.

Play and interaction are crucial to your little one's development. It's important to choose a toy like the activity gym that is going to encourage him to interact with his environment.

Activity gyms have the added benefit of keeping babies entertained for several minutes at a time. If you're a new parent, you will not only want a baby activity gym for the intellectual and physical benefits, but you'll be ecstatic to have a few moments to put your baby down so you can eat a meal (hopefully while it's hot) or head to the bathroom.

Your Baby Needs to Move Around

Scientifically speaking, it is crucial to your baby's physical development that he be moved into different positions throughout the day. Babies who are left to lay on their backs for extended periods of time can develop flat head syndrome which is difficult to correct (and good luck finding a hat that fits).

Health care professionals often recommend that babies be moved from back to tummy to side positions during their waking hours. This helps to avoid physical complications and improve physical development.

That's why baby activity gyms are such great inventions. Even if your baby is laying on his back during play, the toys hanging above his head are going to encourage him to move his head side to side as he shifts his focus. This can happen just by hanging the toys to the side instead of directly above his head.

Activity gyms that come with a tummy time pillow can give babies who despise tummy time a little extra encouragement and comfort. Who wants to lay flat on the floor for several minutes a day with nothing soft underneath? I know I don't.

If your baby needs some time on his side, the activity gyms that come with the attachable mirrors that are great for getting baby to focus on something other than the wall.

Baby activity gyms are especially beneficial in the first three months when your little one is hitting those milestones one right after the other. Many are designed to grow with your baby, so you'll get a lot of use in that first year.

Oh, How Times Have Changed

The exact history of the baby activity gym is unclear, but what is clear is our ever-increasing knowledge of the benefits of toys for babies and children.

Since the earliest documented history, children have been playing with toys. Sometimes those toys were just sticks and rocks. Sometimes they were fortunate enough to have hand-crafted toys made specifically for play.

Around the 18th century, children were beginning to be recognized as separate human beings. This means that more focus was placed on their happiness in childhood rather than how their presence benefited their families. This was known as the Enlightenment Era for toy development. This is the era when rocking horses, puzzles, toy wagons, and other popular toys were developed.

The 20th century saw a rise in the middle class resulting in more families being able to afford toys for their children. Some popular toys (like Silly Putty) were even created by accident during the second World War. Toys that enhance creativity in babies and children grew in popularity and became staples in American homes with children.

Today's parents fully recognize the benefits of toys from an early age, sparking the creation of toys such as the baby activity gym. The colors, textures, and sometimes sounds found with an activity gym are beneficial for a baby's physical and cognitive development.



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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

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