Choosing Toys For Your Baby... From
Birth to Six Months
is your baby's work and toys are tools. They are how newborns
make sense of the world around them and discover how things work.
Sounds, sights, smells, tastes and the way toys feel are discoveries
that feed your little one's eager senses and help infants' developing brains to make all the right connections.
are many theories about how much of the world newborns can appreciate. Some well
meaning friends will tell you that a new baby cannot see or interact with the
world at all and infant toys are a waste of money. As long as you provide food,
cuddling and a clean diaper when necessary your baby will be contented.
is difficult to argue with that, but the latest studies do point to the fact that
your baby was interacting with the world even before birth. Sounds and voices
that were present while you were pregnant are familiar to your new baby. The sound
of your heartbeat and the sound of your muffled voice were part of the experiences
in the womb. If you listened to music while your baby was growing inside you,
those sounds carried through.
"High contrast colors like black and
white or red and green are the best
colors for babies first toys..."
the stories that listening to Beethoven will make your baby a genius have pretty
much been disproved, the benefits of stimulating your baby's senses as early as
possible are still holding up. This doesn't mean that you should bombard your
newborn with noise and distractions. There is such a thing as over stimulation
and newborns get overexcited and cranky when there are too many things going on
- just like you do.
best toys for newborns are designed to provide stimulation
without overdoing it. For your baby, musical mobiles and other toys that hang
above the crib are the best choices. Since baby does spend most of the day sleeping,
a mobile or crib gym is there when they wake to catch their attention.
animals in bright colors that are certified as safe for babies make good crib
companions, too. Babies do react to shadows and bright contrasting colors, such
and white or bright red and green, so these contrasting combinations are the
best colors to choose for babies first toys.
pastels may seem more fitting for babies, but they just don't catch your babies
attention as well as more striking colors. Babies do not know how to control their
hands to grasp at this point, so toys that require holding are too advanced.
your baby grows there comes a point when hands and feet become objects to be explored.
This is normally around the two
month baby development stage, but remember that each baby is a unique person and they don't always
follow the timetables you expect.
is the time to introduce toys to help your new baby explore. Hand toys that are
easy to hold on to, little rattles and colorful keys and rings, help your baby
to learn to use those strange things we call hands. Little booties in red and
black make your baby's feet more interesting to play with and help to exercise
those little eyes and stimulate the connections that are developing in baby's
brain. Some of the booties also make noises to catch your infant's attention.
"For the next few months
toys are a
parent's best friend..."
that produce soft sounds are intriguing, but remember that nothing
takes the place of a familiar human voice with its language sounds
and up and down inflection. The more you speak to baby, the more
familiar language becomes. Babies love to copy facial expressions
and sounds. You'll notice that every once in a while a word you
say seems to be repeated...that's not your imagination. It is
baby learning the sounds that we use to communicate. After all,
crying may be effective at getting a bottle, but there are definite
limits to it as a good form of interacting with the adult world
- and baby is driven to learn how to a part of that world.
this time and for the next few months teething toys are a parent's best friend.
In the days before parents had such things as teething toys, Granny used to dip
a cloth in cold water and let the baby chew away on it. The chewing helps to exercise
the gums and relieves some of the pressure of the new teeth cutting through. The
coolness helps soothe the soreness.
is not a lot of fun, but toys that are designed to take the place of granny's
cold washcloth are a big help. Make sure when buying toys for your teething baby
that there are no loose pieces that can become choking hazards. Also make sure
that the toys cannot be punctured - and if they do get bitten through the cooling
gel is not going to make your baby sick. Expect any toy that you give an infant
to be tasted and used as a chew toy - make sure that none of the toys your baby
plays with have parts that can be swallowed.
that your baby is a little person with likes and dislikes from the earliest days.
Choose toys that will encourage your infant to explore the world without frustration.
attention to your child's preferences. Some babies enjoy musical toys, some infants
are more visual and love bright colors and some will try to interact with stuffed
animals. Give them a balanced diet of toys that will allow them to develop all
of their senses and your baby will be happy with your choices.