Many baby play gyms are now equipped with a small, non-breakable mirror so that babies can spend time looking at themselves in the mirror. Babies tend to notice themselves in the mirror around 3-5 months of age (staring at it, reaching at it). They may first smile at themselves in the mirror between about 5-8 months and then they may playfully respond to their mirror image by laughing, patting, or making faces in the mirror around 6-9 months. All of these skills are important for the development of self-awareness, and baby gyms provide babies the opportunity to practice these skills.
Gross motor development may be the most obvious baby gym benefit of them all. Of course, baby play gyms encourage babies to use and develop the muscles in their arms, legs, tummy, back, and neck. They allow babies space to play on their back, left side, right side, and — yep, you guessed it — their tummy!
Baby play gym is one of the “must” items on any new parents’ shopping list. The “best” and the most popular play gyms are overloaded with bright colors, plastics, buttons to push, loud music and to completely overwhelm the new baby. Imagine being dumped onto one of those after being in the dark for nine months?