Tips on How to Choose Newborn Baby Toys
Every parent wants the best for their children. If you are a first-time mommy, you may need a list of essential baby care items as the first few months are mostly about diapers, feeding and sleep (or lack of it). However, setting some time aside each day to play and read with your little one can make a huge impact.
Playtime is important for children development, from cognitive and physical development to emotional and social growth. Newborn baby toys can be a big help and big fun as well. You can use playtime to build a strong bond with your baby. Through play, children of any age can learn about themselves and the world around them and it’s simply amazing to watch them as they start to roll or laugh or engage with a toy.
There are some basic milestones babies hit over the first couple of months. Every baby develops at their own pace, so there is no need to rush things, however, if you have any questions or concerns, make sure to talk to your paediatrician.
How to Choose Toys for Newborns
When choosing toys for babies, always opt for safe, simple objects that encourage exploration and open-ended play. That means that your child can use the toy in many different ways and use their imagination, creativity and problem-solving skills. You can find a wide range of newborn baby toys to help you and your baby get started on developing important skills.
But how do you know which toys are right for your child? The safest way is to always go with age-appropriate toys as they can complement child development, so you want to make sure you choose the best.
Babies are fascinated with movement, sound and simple white and black visuals. They are reaching and gasping, working on eye-hand coordination. Babies are exploring the world by putting things in their noses, mouths and ears, but children under 3 years old don’t have a well-developed coughing reflex, so you need to be careful around them. The best you can do is choose bigger toys. The smaller the child, the bigger the toy. Make sure you choose toys and parts that are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.
Good toys for young infants are all the toys they can hold, reach for, shake and make noise with, including rattles, squeeze toys, teething toys, large rings, soft toys, textured balls, baby mirrors and more. When it comes to soft toys, don’t forget to make sure that any eyes, noses or buttons are securely attached and check them regularly. Always choose soft toys that are well made and machine washable.
Rattles are a staple in baby toys, available in friendly and colourful animal shapes and some of them even make their own unique rattling sound and feature textured rubber patches to help the baby’s hands keep a tight grip for all the shaking they will be doing.
When it comes to mirrors, babies simply love them. That’s because they love looking at their own reflections and even if they don’t understand what they are looking at, it’s a lot of fun for them and can help develop their vision. You can get a baby-safe mirror, with no glass.
Baby toys of different colours, shapes and sizes help children work on their basic concepts like colour recognition, spatial awareness, shape and more. Handling these toys can help them build on their fine motor skills.
Good toys for one-year-olds are board books with simple illustrations, recordings with simple stories and songs, toy phones, stuffed toys, dolls and doll beds, things to build with, such as cardboard and woodblocks, also puzzles, pegboards and more.
2 years onwards
Toddlers are the cutest, little explorers who learn by doing. Play gives them a great opportunity to develop and practice new skills at their own pace and following their interests. At this stage of their life, they need toys that support fine motor skills and can improve language and brain development.
Good toys for two years olds are toys for solving problems, such as wooden puzzles, objects to sort, but also toys for building, such as blocks, transportation toys, construction sets, kitchen sets, dress-up clothes, sand and water play toys and more. You can choose toys they can create with, including non-toxic washable markers and crayons, paintbrushes, paper for drawing and painting, chalkboard, rhythm instruments and more.
Choose infant toys that challenge, so your kid can learn some new skills. If the toy offers some amount of difficulty and challenges the child’s skills, it can help the child learn new things. However, it should not be too difficult as it can set the child up for failure and lead to frustration at play. Play should be fun and safe, but never too easy, though.
When choosing toys for children below the age of three, look for safety features and ensure there are no sharp or rough edges, they are made of non-toxic materials, there are no small parts that can loosen easily and the toys are not fragile or breakable.
Always read the label before buying any toy as it can give important information about how to use a toy and what age is the toy safe for. Furthermore, make sure to show your child how to use the toy the right way. Besides providing age-appropriate toys, parents and caregivers can also show kids how to take turns and share during playtime and facilitate correct social behaviours.