As a first-time mom, I had never heard of a baby gym, and I’m from a family full of littles.
I’d learn that it’s an arch with hanging toys that helps:
- with baby’s visual perception
- them reach for and grasp objects
- them understand cause and effect
So, I decided to try one.
Now, here I am to share my thoughts.
Our Overall Experience
I’m going to cut to the chase – the baby gym was a hit, for both Plum and I!
It satisfied her curiosity, and gave her something to do. It was so good for my highly-curious, easily-bored, baby girl.
It gave me a much needed breather, so I could relax for a moment, get ready for the day, or accomplish a quick task like washing, or folding, a load of laundry.
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Let’s Talk About the Gym
Of all the baby gyms to choose from, I picked the Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin’ Tunes Music and Language Discovery Gym.
More about “why”, in a bit.
Let’s talk more about the gym first.
The Kickin’ Tunes comes with: a mat, detachable mobiles, and a kick piano.
The mat is brightly colored, with black and and white details, cartoon animals, and geometric shapes.
There are 6 detachable mobiles –
- a mirror
- music note teether
- crinkle medallion
- soft book
- flashcards with illustrated animals, shapes, and colors
The piano is multi-functional and features 3 modes: keyboard notes only, continuous music, and learning mode.
Learning mode teaches the following in 4 languages (English, Spanish, German, and French):
- animal names
- animal sounds
Why I Chose This One Over the Other Guys
Even though I chose this one over others, for a few very specific reasons, you really can’t go wrong with choosing a quality gym. They all help baby’s skill development, in one way or another.
But, I chose this one because –
a) It’s colorful and bright.
The other guys were either melancholy, or had muted colors. To be fair, this isn’t the only colorful gym out there, but most others didn’t have the additional added positives that I’ll share in a moment.
I reasoned that since babies are drawn to bright colors, which they are, eventually, this would hold her attention longer. In truth, they see in black and white for the first few weeks, then red comes into view.
Their color perception continues to develop over the first year.
b) Double arches
Most other gyms I saw only had one.
The different heights, and directions to reach in, would hold her attention longer, I thought. She would have to turn her head and adjust her reach, instead of simply reaching straight up, as with only one overhead arch.
c) The piano
Not all baby gyms have a kick piano. Only a few did, from what I saw.
The piano can be used long after baby outgrows the gym, after about 5 months (they lose interest once they start to sit).
I prefer convertible items that grow with the baby. More bang for my buck!
Check out this wildly popular gym for comparison, and you’ll see what I mean.
More About Our Experience
At 16 weeks old, Plum was grabbing my drumsticks, my forks, basically anything that came close to my mouth.
Her grip was so strong that I’d have to pry her fingers away to get my things back.
I have this gym to thank for that. Or blame. lol.
Even though she came to love it, and learned a lot from it, it didn’t start out that way –
Plum was 8 weeks old when we started using the gym, consistently. She made such a stink the first couple of times, that I put it away, resolving to try again after a few weeks.
Looking back, I should have waited on the sounds and lights. Eek!
When we finally did try again, I put her face-up, and she laid there like a stone, so I guided her hands to reach for the mobiles. Then, she started yelling. But not before tolerating it for a few minutes. #progress
The time after, she stayed on even longer. Thank goodness. Turns out she didn’t hate the thing, as I’d thought.
From there, we took it slow, only using it every 2-3 days. That lasted for a few weeks. Finally, we switched to daily use. But only after she started to really enjoy it.
Plum outgrew her gym around 22 weeks, although there were signs weeks ahead of time, like –
Her pulling down the arches until they warped (thank goodness for the easy snap back).
Her pulling up the mat while she lay on top of it.
Not to mention that she had all but lost interest in the mobiles,. But, to be fair, she’d already spent plenty of time inspecting, and chewing on, her favorites.
Even though our baby gym days are behind us, at 11 months old, the biggest grin spread across her face when I bring out the piano.
Things I Would Change
The Kickin’ Tunes was a really good fit for us but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t change a few things like –
The multi-lingual teaching feature.
Instead of having every word said in each of the 4 languages, I’d like the option to choose ONE language.
Is this confusing to a young child who’s not from a bi, or multi, lingual home? Or, is it a positive because they are getting early exposure to multiple languages? I’d like to know.
More cushion on the mat.
It would have been nice to have a plush mat since we have hard floors. But, it’s nothing that a rug, or thick playmat (this is ours), couldn’t solve.
The Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin’ Tunes Music and Language Discovery Gym was an invaluable toy, and one I would choose again, hands down.
It warmed my heart to see my little one understanding the concepts, and learning how to interact with it. And she honed quite a few skills too. Hello, drumstick! 😀