Menu

9 Play Mats That Won't Ruin Your Decor

You don't have to sacrifice your style with these gorgeous play mats.

9 Play Mats That Won't Ruin Your Decor

Before I got pregnant, I didn’t know what kind of mother I would be. I didn’t know if I would breastfeed or bottle feed. What I did know, undoubtedly, is that I wasn’t going to let some 8-pound tiny person redecorate my house!

As my baby became more and more active and bonked her head on the floor for the nth time, I caved. I opened my laptop and prepared to buy one of those ugly and intrusive, primary-colored, ABC floor mats. But, guess what, mama?! I didn’t have to! It’s a whole new world out there, and baby product companies are really stepping up their game, making some gorgeous floor mats for our little ones -- mats that keep their tiny heads safe and the aesthetic of your home just the way you want it.

Here are a few of our favorite design-focused play mats.

1. Little Nomad. These heirloom play mats are at the very top of our list. They definitely do not read “baby.” Instead, they bring a vintage rug vibe to your space. Not only will Little Nomad’s mats keep the aesthetic of your home just as lovely as you’ve worked so hard to make it -- chances are, it’ll look even better! Their brand new Starlight Series comes in three gorgeous colors that will have every house guest asking: “where’d you get that?!” Starting $119, buy here.

2. Yay! Mats. This black and white mat is totally on trend and perfect for the modern home. Just add a fiddle leaf fig! It is easy to match, and your little one will love looking at it -- perfect for all those cute #tummytime instagram posts! $95.99, buy here.

3. Baby Mushroom Baby Bello Organic Play Mat. For eco-conscious parents, the Baby Bello play mat hits the mark on all fronts. The neutral, off white color makes this floor mat work in any space. The machine washable cover is certified organic, and the foam mat is made of plant-based materials. It’s hypoallergenic and non-toxic. A total win. $229, buy here.

4. Skip Hop Activity Playmat. This mega baby brand is giving other baby product companies a run for their money! Design is top of mind here; the soft peach and grey hues fit seamlessly into your decor, and you can choose how to arrange the tiles in different patterns to best suit your taste. $78.99, buy here.

5. Nook LilyPad2. Simple solids are sometimes the best solution when trying to fit a play mat into your living space. We love the grey and navy options, great for integrating into the design scheme you had before baby. Plus, the LilyPad2 is organic, and each one is made of 75 recycled bottles. $240, buy here.

6. Pillobebe NYC Organic Cotton Playmat. Let your little one learn to sit and crawl on the city that never sleeps (because neither do we!). If you’re a pattern lover who hails from one of the five boroughs, this Organic Cotton mat is right up your alley. It’s non-toxic, easily washable and folds up for trips to grandma’s! $229, buy here.

7. Prime Little Pony Playmat. If you’re willing to get a little whimsical and integrate some child-friendly design into your living space, this pattern is a fave. We love how the mat uses lots of color, but in a calm and sophisticated way. Plus, this play mat is designed to last at least five years! Score. $249.99, buy here.

8. Little P Triangle Round. We love this design for parents who have a little bit of an edge in their decor. Think: urban outfitters meets baby. The design on this organic cotton muslin play mat is hand printed by traditional artisans and designed with versatility in mind. Use it on the floor, put it in your pram or wrap you little on up in it. $110, buy here.

9. Gathre Midi Play Mat. Whether you're planning on a picnic, a trip to the beach or some arts and crafts at home, these mats look lux and will complement your aesthetic while keeping your little ones busy. Made of leather, they are easy to wipe clean, which is perfect for food spills or spit-ups during tummy time. $85, buy here.

Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less
Life

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

Keep reading Show less
News