Sleeping baby mat

Are Baby Naps on Play Mats Safe?

Sleep is an issue for many new mums, one that can end up taking over your life when your baby is tiny. When they are newborns, babies tend to sleep for hours at a time, only waking for a feed or a nappy change.

As they get a little older, their awake windows become longer, and for lots of families sleep can goes out the window. It can be tempting to let them sleep on the couch, on the carpet, in the car – wherever they nod off. But is it okay to just let them sleep on a play mat?

Encourage healthy sleep habits

Any parent knows how essential sleep is to their sanity, and setting and sticking to a sleep routine for your baby's sleep will benefit everyone in the family.

A good sleep routine allows the household to slip into a new rhythm, and you'll find that a good daytime routine will improve the night sleeping too. It's a win-win situation.

Sleep tips

When putting your baby down for naps, follow these simple tips:

  • Place your baby on their back to sleep.
  • Try to keep the nap time and location consistent.
  • Stick to a routine before sleep (change nappy, cuddle, place on a mat or in a cot, play a musical toy). Try to keep your routine soothing and calming.  

This routine will help let your baby know it is time to sleep.

It takes time to learn to recognise your baby's sleep cues. Here are some common early sleep cues:

  • Staring blankly into space
  • Disengaging from activities
  • Eyebrows going red
  • Averting eyes
  • Turning their head when you try to engage

Later sleep cues include:

  • Pulling their ears
  • Yawning
  • Restlessness or fussiness
  • Jerky movements
  • Crying or whining
  • Clinginess

If you miss these cues, your baby could get overtired and overstimulated, which unfortunately seems to mean they get grumpier and more distressed, rather than wanting to go to sleep!

Changing sleep patterns

By the time they are around 4 months old, your baby's sleep patterns will move to a more mature state of sleeping. They will begin to be awake and alert for longer. Allowing them space to ‘self soothe’ is recommended as they may find it hard to sleep if they don’t learn this skill. 

Sleeping on a baby play mat

If your baby is ready for a nap or has fallen asleep on a play mat, they are OK to stay there while they rest, given you follow these safe sleeping guidelines: 

  • You supervise your baby while they sleep (don't leave the room) 
  • Keep your pets away 
  • Keep older siblings away (in case they stumble and fall on the sleeping baby) 
  • Make sure the mat is on a flat, firm service (not draped over a pillow or on a couch)
  • The baby is in a safe environment, away from loose items or blind cords.

Generally speaking however, a baby’s sleep space should be a cot that has met Australian safety standards. Remember, your baby's health, safety, and wellbeing are the priority, so if you have any safety concerns, pick them up and place them in a cot.

Ludere – play in style

Choose Ludere for luxurious and versatile baby play mats in Australia. 

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