Weird playmat reaction — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Weird playmat reaction

Okay, I am so mystified by this!  We got this cute little mat for Rose to practice crawling on - it's one of those interlocking puzzle piece type things made of foam, it has numbers and letters in the middle, etc.  We set it up and she is TERRIFIED of it.  It's the craziest thing.  She won't let her feet touch it, she bursts into tears at even the sight of the foam mat pieces.  It is bizarre!  We tried both sides of the mat, since once is more soft and one is more textured, and it made no difference.  She literally cannot even look at the thing without sobbing.  We tried two different days/times, both when she was in a good mood and the exact same reaction.  I put her down in crawling position and she immediately cried harder than she has since she was a hungry newborn.

So uh, has anyone else had this reaction?  Did LO eventually warm up to it or should I just give this away to friends with little ones?  It's funny cause I was so excited about this, since we have hardwood floors in the living and dining room, so I was looking forward to her having a softer place to learn to crawl, but um, maybe not!

Re: Weird playmat reaction

  • Is it maybe the texture she doesn't like?  My parents got a similar one and we haven't had any problems, so I'm no help with that.
    maureenmce
  • Keep trying! Maybe if you or your DH sit on the mat and then the other person hands her to the seated one she will warm up to it more? Baby steps ;) pun intended 
    maureenmce
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  • Ibwould wait a few days n try again - My baby had a similar reaction to some toys, the most intense involving a singing moving ball. I waited a few days and tried again, this time by playing with the toy myself and holding/patting it and such with a smiling face n happy ton until she gradually stopped being scared. Did you try sitting on the mat in front of her and sitting next to her during? With the toy it took a few times for baby to warm up to, I stayed beside her n played with her and now she crawls after it n plays alone with it all the time.
    maureenmce
  • Maybe try putting a blanket on top of the mat and slowly moving the blanket to uncover only a portion of the mat once she gets used to it. 
    maureenmce
  • Since they're new, do they have a smell? Try wiping them down with soapy water and rinsing them off. 
    Did they come with the edge pieces? If so, can you just give her a few of the edge pieces to play with, without having the mats down?
    You can also do one piece, and put things she wants on the other side. Ease her into it.
    Kids are weird. Mine headbutts the piano bench to move it out of the way instead of going under it. And she knows how to go under it.
    tfrangulmaureenmce
  • My LO temporarily reacted to mirrors this way. Full on hysterical crying the second she looked at one, happy when taken away, and then instant sobbing when she saw it again, etc... A couple weeks later and she was completely fine with them again. Babies are weird.
    maureenmce
  • I was taking my LO to a baby gym class every week and she freaked out the same way over a big red ball. This went on each week for a few weeks, then she randomly got over it. I just followed her lead... didn't pressure her to use it (it was about a 5min activity the teacher used it for each week) but tried again every week. Her reaction was surprising to me, but I'm glad she got over it. But now we have a strange reaction to baths that I posted about  :| 
    Anyway, there's been a lot of great suggestions already, so good luck! I hope it gets better.
    maureenmce
  • Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions!  I think it's just a weird phase, hopefully, as others have suggested (and had similar experiences.)  I did wash the mat down, but I washed it again, just to make sure, and it made no difference, but the blanket strategy worked a little bit.  I'm gonna give it a few days and try again.  Thanks guys!
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