At the NY International Gift Fair recently, I was instantly taken with a gorgeous new tummy-time play mat/pillow from a small mom-run company that’s sure to be the newest baby registry dying-to-have, if not quite a must-have.

Pello baby mat for tummy time


Imagine a ginormous Boppy without the hole in the middle and you’re picturing the Pello. This is no cheap disposable playtime mat; rather, it’s a beautifully constructed, amply sized reversible donut-shaped mat that grows with your baby. And I love that it’s entirely made in the US by Ohio mom Cindy Perry.

The soft center is extra cuddly and gives smaller babies a place for tummy time. Or: flip your little one onto her back for a nice angle to recline on (while you’re watching her, of course). As she grows, the Pello makes an appropriately challenging crawling course. Months later, it will be a place to play, nap or one day, read.

(Yes, eventually that little lump of a baby will be reading someday–best thing ever.)

In fact, the Pello is even thoughtfully designed with a little pocket to hold a teether, toy or book. And there’s a great carrying strap on either side, so it folds up taco-style for easier transporting to the park or the grandparents’ house. And hooray! It’s machine washable and you can pop it in the dryer too.

Pello baby mat fabric choices


I’m not crazy about every fabric choice, but I do think the charcoal and white check is quite nice, or if you dig pink, the houndstooth is a nice preppy look. There are some other fun styles coming soon too. Plus you can customize the color of the minky fabric underside, so you can make your Pello as gender neutral or specific (so to speak) as you’d like.

Just be warned: it will make you want a grown-up sized Pello of your own. And maybe your own lovey, too. –Liz

Order the US-made Pello baby mat online at

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