“Tastefully designed and great for supporting the baby's development, which is the primary function of a baby gym.”
Soft and breathable play mat
Expensive compared to other baby gyms
Pastel colours are less engaging for baby
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Rebecca Hayward and her four-month-baby James tested out the Play & Discover Baby Gym from aden + anais to see how well it kept him entertained.
First things first, this is an item of baby gear that you won’t mind taking up space in your living room, making it one of the best baby gyms to buy if you're all about keeping things stylish. “I liked the aesthetic design of it,” said Rebecca.
The Play & Discover Baby Gym baby gym from aden + anais is suitable for newborns plus it's machine washable so you don’t need to worry about leaky nappies or milk spills. The soft play mat is made from 100% cotton muslin – great if your baby hasn’t mastered holding their head up – with eco-friendly and sustainable birch wood arches.
It comes with a tummy-time pillow included to help support the development of the baby's gross motor skills, which Rebecca feels will be useful as her baby gets older and spends more time on the floor. There's also a mirror to encourage the baby's self-discovery and support their cognitive skills.
Our tester also thinks the grabbable toy animals which hang from the arches - and help to support fine motor development - are cute and says the materials used to craft this baby gym are “carefully considered”.
At £90, this isn't a mid-range baby gym but Rebecca thinks it's worth investing in because it looks so good and is obviously well-made.
Age suitability: From birth
This aden + anais Play and Discover Baby Gym combines a light wood frame with dangling pastel animals for babies to grab at.
“One of the features I like that is that it's really easy to assemble (it took me about 5 minutes) and no tools are required - very handy with a small and needy baby nearby,” says Rebecca.
It also scored highly when it comes to aesthetics. “The wooden arch gives it a Scandi look,” says Rebecca. “It's something that you won't mind having out in your living room.”
She thinks the pastel tones are a bit less fun than more brightly-coloured baby gyms but, all in all, she thinks “it just about strikes the right balance” between style and practicality.
Comfort and features
The cute hanging toys are made of different materials, and they rattle and make crinkly sounds. “The hanging position is just the right height,” says Rebecca. “My baby is on the cusp of reaching and grabbing and I can see he'll be able to paw away at the different types of toy, which is good for his sensory and motor development.”
The moon-shaped tummy-time pillow “works well” according to our tester, although her baby was too young to get much use from it. “It's nice to have the peace of mind that the muslin mat is breathable in case baby rolls from their back onto their front,” adds Rebecca.
She also likes that the baby gym is machine washable. “It's quick and easy to untie the base from the wooden arches for washing or when you want to pop it away”.
Value for money
At £90, the aden + anais Play & Discover Baby Gym is definitely a premium item. “The price is on the high side which is its only real downside,” says Rebecca. “It's certainly at the premium end on the price spectrum for a baby gym.”
Rebecca thinks there are similar products available with the same features and just as nicely designed but a little cheaper, but feels you get good features, good design, and nice materials for the price.
She would recommend this to someone who wanted “stylish design and functionality” but thinks it wouldn’t be “suitable for somebody who wants something with more busy and jazzy colours”.
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Charlotte Duck is an award-winning journalist who writes who regularly writes for Tatler, the Evening Standard, Yahoo and Hello Magazine about everything from royal hairstyles to fixed-rate mortgages. She was previously Kidswear Editor at M&S and worked in-house at Boden but, while she loves writing about beautiful children's clothes, she has three children who refuse to wear them.
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