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From the earliest days through the sitting and crawling stages, a baby play gym is one of the most used, versatile pieces of baby gear we can think of. Not only do they give you a safe place to put your little one down for a hot minute but they're also an ideal tool to support physical and cognitive development. And since play is the work of babyhood, the more time they clock there, the better!
That said, they're also one of those items that hardly ever gets put away. So when we find one that satisfies our design sense as much as it satisfies our babes, it's an instant win. Meet the 1,000K+ waitlist strong Lalo Play Gym.
You may already know Lalo for their brilliant grow-with-me high chair and award winning play table and chair set– both of which are a minimalist parent's dream come true. Launched by two dads in 2019, Lalo is on a mission to simplify the baby-stuff-buying process with thoughtfully designed products you actually want to have around. And with its stylish look, the swoon-worthy Lalo Play Gym is no exception.
Designed in partnership with a team of early childhood development experts, the Lalo Play Gym is exactly the kind of baby gear investment we recommend time and time again. First of all, it's gorgeous. The gym itself is made from sustainable beech wood that's made to last and easy-peasy to assemble. The accompanying mat is eco-friendly as well, machine-washable (the spit up struggle is real) and available in four muted colors to match any decor.
We also love that it's a one stop shop. The gym comes with three developmentally-appropriate sensory toys, each of which help little ones work their motor and visual tracking skills, oral exploration and adorable curiosity. The simple construction also allows you to swap in any toys in your collection to keep things interesting.
Like most play gyms on the market, it's meant to be used from day one. But what makes it a stand out is the clever way it's designed to last. With the addition of the Tent Kit, it transforms into the perfect little hideout for imaginative play.
According to Bronwyn Charlton, PH.D. and Co-Founder of SeedlingsGroup, a consortium of childhood development educators and psychologists, "Lalo has designed the perfect independent play space, by keeping their Play Gym uncluttered and simple, yet intentional and thoughtful, with just a few, open-ended toys, for babies to use creatively. What's more, the Play Gym grows along with the baby and can be easily transformed into a play tent for an older baby and eventually toddler to use as a copy space in which they can continue their journey of creative, imaginative, and independent play."
And you know what "independent play" means? Five minutes to shower and maybe even a cup of coffee, sipped while hot with two hands. What's better than that?
Whether you're expecting in months or mere days, let Motherly guide you with our registry featuring curated collections of essentials for you and baby. Click here to check out Motherly's essential registry guide.
A version of this story was published on January 26, 2022. It has been updated.