Your parcel arrives, and in your excitement to have your baby start on their tummy time journey, you open the box and pull out your mat, unsheathe the plastic wrapping and rip off the velcro to find- creases and curling on your play mat?! Gasp!
It is stiff, it is curled and creases appear throughout the mat. Is this normal? Why is it curling? Will it be a tripping hazard? Will it flatten, and how long would it take? So many questions!
Well this article will answer all of your questions and concerns. Yes, it is normal to experience the concerns of whether or not your play mat is normal.
To answer the questions and how long it will flatten to its original shape, well, the simple explanation is…
As our play mats are tightly hand rolled up in its packaging for compact shipping purposes, you may initially find curling and creases on the play mat when it is first unrolled.
Due to the nature of TPU foam properties which are similar to that of memory foam, added with the duration it has been in a rolled shape throughout shipping and storage - this is a common effect.
Fret not! By the powers of gravity, patience and a little added effort, all will be well and your play mat will stop curling and be free of creasing.
If you have a large or round play mat, the odds are it won’t be so much creasing as it is curled. Why? Due to its larger surface area (and more often than not) it takes 4 hands to roll that baby and it perfectly rolls into a rounder shape. You might find that the edges would curl on one side, and the simple fix is by following the steps below to help settle and redistribute the mat;-
*What we are essentially trying to do is to reform the TPU foam so it will fill the lighter edges of the mat which is lifting off the edge to allow gravity to do its work once the foam is redistributed.
Unroll and et voila, the curling should have subsided! By this time, the creases should also dramatically improve as this method will ensure that the foam has time to settle and expand, therefore flattening completely.
If your play mat is proving to be stubborn, you can leave it for a bit longer or if it doesn’t bother you as much or both you and baby can’t wait to do tummy time… Don’t worry, this is a temporary side effect from the packing process. It just means that it still has room to flatten/ lengthen out more, and you can proceed with your activity on the mat. This is the perfect time to let gravity do its job and the foam should relax, and fully settle within a short time.
Now, if you have a small play mat it might prove to be more of a challenge. Why? Due to its smaller surface area, more often than not, one hero is assigned to roll the mat. When one rolls a small play mat alone, it can create a rather folding motion as compared to a rolling one. This creates deep creasing when added with the duration of shipping and storage.
Dealing with creasing can often test your patience a bit more, and the reverse roll trick may not prove as effective compared to leaving it to the higher power of time and gravity. In this instance, flip your small play mat with the deeper creasing facing down, and leave it be. It may take up to a week if it proves to be stubborn, but we promise - it will return to its glory and be all worth it!