Cosyplay baby play mats can help prevent plagiocephaly – or flat head syndrome. They are made from memory foam, which has unusual properties, that can prevent your baby’s head from becoming misshaped.
Plagiocephaly develops when a baby’s rapidly growing head attempts to expand, and meets some type of resistance— either before birth in the mother’s womb, or after delivery because the baby’s head is repeatedly pressed against a mattress or other resting surface. This is similar to how a pumpkin develops a flat spot in a field; since it cannot grow into the ground, it turns into a flat-bottomed shape.
Cosyplay baby play mats are made from memory foam. Memory foam is widely used in the medical sector because of its pressure-relieving characteristics. This amazing foam can distribute pressure evenly over a large area and relieve pressure from pressure points. We advise never to allow your baby to sleep on a cosyplay mat, because memory foam is also known to retain body heat. However, cosyplay mats provide a soft and comfortable surface for your baby's playtime and provides pressure-relief for your baby’s head whilst he is awake.
A growing number of child development experts have witnessed an increase in flat head syndrome and many are pointing at car seats and baby bouncers as the culprit. Their research suggests that babies spend too much time in a C-shape in car seats and rockers, which not only affects their head shape, but has long lasting consequences. Every part of the body is affected when the baby is kept in a sedentary position for long periods of time. Restricting movement in babies has a negative impact on eye development and can affect reading later on in life because the eye cannot grasp what is on the page. Writing is also affected because babies with restricted movement miss out on sensory experiences and touch.
Physical developmental delay can be measured in inactive babies, leading to much bigger problems in the future, as children have missed the opportunity to develop strong muscles and joints can be misaligned.
The effect on coordination is also significant. Babies, which had insufficient opportunity to develop their coordination skills will be less able to balance, throw a ball or take part in other activities, which require hand-eye coordination. In the future, this can lead to children being less motivated to engage in sport and physical activity. They are likely to spend less time outdoors, which in turn will lead to a more sedentary adult lifestyle with all the negative consequences.
Cosyplay mats are suitable from birth and we recommend to start using a cosyplay mat as soon as the baby is happy to be placed on a flat surface whilst awake. Plagiocephaly is most often detected at six weeks of age. It increases to a maximum at four months and then slowly decreases over two years. Most cases – over 96% - resolve by themselves, especially if your baby is introduced to tummy time early. There are certain risk factors, which make it more likely for your baby to develop plagiocephaly. If your baby is firstborn, male, is only bottle fed, has limited neck rotation at birth, has tummy time less than three times per day, has lower activity levels and achieves early milestones later. You will not be able to change some of these factors, but others like insufficient tummy time, lower activity levels and reaching milestones later, can be averted simply by playing with your baby and allowing him to move. Whenever possible you should encourage rolling, reaching, stretching, pushing, pulling, holding, grasping and rocking. Allowing your baby to be physically active will lead to better muscular and mental development and be beneficial for your baby’s head shape.
Memory foam was developed by NASA during the search for a material, which offered better impact absorption to improve the safety of aircraft cushions. It may not be immediately obvious why this feature should be beneficial for a baby play mat, but it certainly is, because babies like to explore. They like to try out new things but have little coordination and comprehension. Having an impact-absorbing surface to practice on will give your baby the confidence to go for it, because he will quickly learn that he will not get hurt.