Choosing Toys for babies aren’t just for fun, toys are what help your baby to grow and develop. In just a few years your baby will be a talking and walking youngster.
But for now, during the first years of your child’s life, 50 percent of their intelligence is developed. This is why you need to choose the right toys to encourage and stimulate your baby’s mind and body.
The time from when your baby is born to when he or she turns one-year-old is when the most incredible changes happen.
During these first months, baby toys need to stimulate all the senses, such as touch, sound, and sight. This is why so many baby toys are textured, make noises, and are so colorful.
Choosing the right toys for your baby isn’t always as easy as it might seem to be.
Babies 0 to Six Months
Toys for babies aged 0 to six months are all about discovering new things. This is the time when your baby is learning how to use her eyes, hands, and feet as well as most of her senses.
Babies are fascinated by their surroundings and intrigued by cause and effect. The most popular toys for young babies at this age include toys that can be looked at, touched, put in the mouth and listened to.
Primary colors really grab their attention so you’ll find a lot of toys that are red, yellow and blue. Choose toys that have a high color contrast with simple designs.
These toys should also be soft, light, and easy for your baby to grab hold of. Some of the best toys are those that do something when your baby acts, such as rattles that make noises when shaken.
Here are some of the best toys to choose from for babies six months and younger:
- Teething toys that can be sucked and gummed
- Squeeze toys
- Hanging toys
- Cloth toys
- Play gyms
- Little stuffed toys
- Soft-balls for squeezing
- Unbreakable mirrors
- Music CDs
Babies Six Months to Twelve Months
When your baby is six to twelve months old they’ll become more and more aware of the world around them. They start to grasp things and pull themselves up on the furniture.
They’re learning to crawl and to stand alone without falling over. They also want to explore the world around them and this includes the toys they play with.
You’ll find that your baby loves to bite, shake, poke, push, and drag her toys. This is also the time when babies start to really enjoy bath time, so bath toys are always going to be very popular.
Babies love music, so consider buying a few toys that feature relaxing and soothing melodies. You may find that music is the perfect way to calm your baby when you’re in the car or changing a diaper.
Play gyms are also very good toy choices at this age. Gyms provide your baby with tummy time and she’ll be entertained for long periods of time by the different toys in her play gym.
This type of toy is ideal for developing motor and sensory skills. Other great toy choices for the six to twelve-month-old include:
- Stacking and nesting cups
- Pull and push toys
- Soft or rubber blocks
- Cloth toys
- Plastic or cloth books
- Pop-up toys
- Baby Swings
Interactive Play with Your Baby
Don’t just rely on toys to keep your baby busy and entertained. Playing with your baby is one of the most important things that you can do to stimulate her development.
Make sure that you play games that encourage hand and eye coordination such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake”.
Don’t just expect to put your baby down on the floor and expect her to keep herself entertained on her own for long minutes of time.
Interacting as much as you can with your baby is imperative both for bonding and for your baby’s development. This means helping your baby to stack those blocks no matter how many times she knocks them back down again!
Avoid the “Hottest” Toys
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when choosing toys for your baby is to not fall into the hype of buying the latest and greatest toy on the market.
Just because a toy is being sold as the best toy doesn’t mean that it’s going to be right for your baby. She might be too young for it or she just might not be interested in that particular toy.
Let your baby’s interests guide you towards buying the right toys for her. You may think that her development won’t be what it should be if you don’t buy that new hot toy that’s being marketing as a must-have for all parents.
Remember that even simple toys such as rattles boost learning and stimulate your baby’s senses often more than educational toys. What’s important is that your baby has a variety of toys that make her smile.