When my son started daycare he was just under 2 years old, the daycare he went to provided thin top and bottom sheets for nap time and no pillows. When I saw the hard plastic beds that they had to sleep on, it made me wonder if there was something that was softer that he could bring so that it would help him feel more comfortable and secure so he could get a better rest while he was there. This was about 3-4 years ago and there was only really one business selling decent toddler nap mats that I could find. The daycare allowed for us to leave his nap mat there and I would just take it home for regular washing every few weeks (he only went 2 days a week) or if he had an accident during his nap when he started toilet training. My son loved being able to have something that was his own during nap time. It gave him comfort when he saw the educator bringing out his bear nap mat and set it up on the bed because he knew it belonged to him. He used the same nap mat the entire time he was at daycare until he went off to big school. For me as a parent, even doing something as simple as that, made me feel better about having to leave him because I knew how important a good rest was so he wasn't cranky when it was time to pick him up. Then it was time for my daughter to enrol in daycare, I tried to find a similar nap mat but it was no longer available. Last year, we decided to create our own business so that we could design our own nap mat. We wanted something that was softer, warmer and had more structure so that our other kids could have the same comfort and feel safe during naps while they were at daycare too. We wanted an easy to use, all-in-one design that could be used all year round and be sturdy enough to last until they go off to big school.
My kids love bringing their nap mats to their grandparents house. Their grandpa sets up a small tent inside their living room and he puts their nap mats inside so they have a little lie down cinema while they watch TV or a movie. It's so easy to just pop in the car with their bags and the grandparents just have to roll them up when they're done.
The nap mats are easy to bring on family car trips. They come with a dust protector bag with its own drawstring handle so it's easy to just throw it in the car with the rest of the other bags. Since they are soft and plush, you can roll them out and use them as a base and add a warmer blanket on top or even just on its own if it's warm enough.