Foam play mats are usually not on a parents baby registry when expecting however, they quickly become a necessity in many households. Tile, wood, laminate, and other popular hard surface flooring doesn’t make for the best / baby friendly environment to play.
Around the time my son turned 3 months of age is when I began the hunt for play mats. I desperately needed a baby friendly area to facilitate that all important tummy time. Our home was wall to wall hard surface flooring beside the bedrooms. I found myself flooded with options, and all too unsure of what I really needed. I decided on an option I found on Amazon. It was approximately $15.00 for 9 tiles. It met our needs for about a month before he outgrew it and I was faced with having to buy more tiles. I instead started to look at other sets all together and hadn’t yet made a purchase when I received SoftTiles.
When it comes to baby items the market is flooded, and sometimes more expensive doesn’t mean quality nor new mean better. I have often found that too many bells and whistles means too much opportunity for something to go array. I’m a stickler checking reviews on hot ticket items, and only wish I had run across one for SoftTiles while I was initially looking.
In the time passed since having SoftTiles I can say I wish I had known about them sooner. Spending $15 at other retailers may seem like a bargain, but in this particular instance you truly get what you pay for. SoftTiles comes with a price tag of approx $120.00, but it’s a price tag where you won’t really need to expand on your purchase.
SoftTiles offers something for everyone. The themes offered include, but are not limited to solid colors, transportation, sea animals, alphabet, flowers, etc. And, they come in the neutral tones as well. I chose the gray and white sea animals living close to the beach, and couldn’t be happier. I’m personally just a fan of more neutral baby items, and feel baby toys “pop” more on neutral settings than getting lost in an array of colors and patterns. You never know if another little one is coming in the years to come, and I’m a practical person not caring to fuss much with changing big ticket items per gender.
The foam mats SoftTiles uses are also substantially thicker than the one’s I had previously bought (I have included a picture for comparison). I’m also beyond comfortable laying on the oversized mats with my son and playing along side of him. It’s also super easy to broom off dust and other particles that may be tracked on to the play area when our pets think it’s their own.
Now, entering 9 months of age my son is becoming very curious about his surroundings and much more mobile. He’s pulling himself up, rolling and rolling till he’s stopped by and inanimate objects, and I suspect cruising soon enough. With spending more upfront and actually getting what one pays for, I’m not hassled by having to purchase more tiles to accommodate his mobility. I can take a back seat and watch Noah flourish and explore. I’m not anxious about him falling while trying to pull up onto objects as I know SoftTiles provides a product that truly covers more than enough surface area. And, in being thicker than other competitors offers more cushion to dampen his falls and spills while learning to become more independent.
With the ability to customize your play mats by SoftTiles on their website, you can make the play space you envisioned for your child. You are able to add names, as well as borders that actually lie flesh with the floor and incline connecting to your play mat space. It’s a nice added feature that I enjoy. Noah and I enjoy playing with cars, and the ability for them to cruise up and down the play mat without being impeded by the edge is another thing I don’t have to worry about. It’s like the cars we play with have their own little ramp. It’s also extra comfy on the feet.
It’s hard to criticize much about SoftTiles beside the initial price tag. Yes, I get sticker shock easily. I find it’s a necessary evil when budgeting. However, when compared to the size of the more moderately priced play mats and the additions one has to buy, you may only be spending 50 dollars more in the end for a product you’ll be beyond happy with. I cannot be more than pleased with SoftTiles. It’s a product I am confident and excited to recommend to friends, and family. Don’t let the initial price sway you from purchasing. These are quality tiles to last you through many children, and pets without having to run to the store or purchase more sets online.
You can find SoftTiles play mats for $120 on Amazon.
Jennifer Moss (she/her) is the founder of BabyNames.com, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.
Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.