When you first meet your little one, you’re so enamored with their teeny toes and precious face that it’s hard to imagine ever wanting to put them down. However, once you adjust to your new reality (and your #momarms), that quickly becomes a forgotten dream. When your bundle of joy is an infant, bassinets and rockers are your best friends, but once they can sit up on their own, it’s time to upgrade to an activity center.

Strictly speaking, a baby activity center is an interactive seat or station with developmental toys and features for your little one to play with. There are different types of activity centers available depending on your kiddo’s age and developmental stage – walkers, play tables, seats, and more. Baby activity centers enable your LO to play and grow in a safe and secure environment. Here are three reasons to buy a baby activity center.

Develop Baby's Fine Motor Skills

As they’re developing, children typically develop gross motor skills (tasks that involve large muscles like their abdomen, arms, and legs) before fine motor skills (tasks that use small muscles in their hands and wrists). They can sit up on their own or toddle around the room before they can successfully hold a crayon or grasp a toy. Attention-grabbing toys found on baby activity centers invite your little one to reach out and play, helping them strengthen the muscles in their hands and wrists.

Explore New Sensory Stimuli

A staple of the baby activity center is the variety of new sounds, sights, textures, and activities for your nugget to explore. There are loads of stimuli that your child might not normally encounter so they get a taste (maybe even literally, you know babies and putting things in their mouths) of some novel experiences.

Give Baby a Safe Place to Play

We’re all friends here. So, let’s be honest: Sometimes you just need a place to put baby down for a few minutes so you can go to the bathroom alone. Take advantage of your baby activity center to keep your cherub occupied for a brief moment while you drink your coffee with both hands instead of one. We don’t judge.