How Much to Invest in a Soft Play Mat?

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Q: My son just turned six months old and is getting more active. We also just moved into a new home with all hardwood floors and no rugs (we're saving up for them). Until now, I've just put my old yoga mat underneath his play mat, since there isn't much padding to it, to soften it up a bit when he's on his back or tummy. Now that he's rolling over though, it takes just one roll for him to be off the mat and uncomfortable. I've been looking at some alternatives: the more common colorful "puzzle" mats ($20-$50) and then this one too, called the SoftSpot by Wozzy. It's much more expensive than the other mats ($100) but is easier on the eyes, more portable, and looks more comfortable too. It even has an option of a cute cover ($40). I was wondering what your readers think: would something like the SoftSpot be worth it, or should we just go ahead and get the cheaper option?

Sent by Alanna

Editor: When my son began sitting and then crawling (just a few paces at a time) I put him on a thick, soft comforter folded into fourths. Was it the very best "product" for this use? Maybe not, but it wasn't long until he was crawling for real and wouldn't stay on a mat of any kind when he could be moving and exploring. So I'd consider how long you could use whatever product you buy or what other purpose it could serve. Readers, what's your advice for Alanna?

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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