Taking care of an infant might feel like an endless cycle of just feeding, changing diapers and catching naps while your baby sleeps (if you’re lucky enough). But while it may seem to you that your baby isn’t doing much, it’s actually never too early to introduce him/her to some newborn baby playing toys.
It is only natural that infants can be entertained by objects that are not labeled as newborn playing toys. Your baby will show interest and love to hold and play with household objects like spoons and measuring cups, but you’ll want to be careful with items that are not designed for play. Newborn baby playing toys, on the other hand, are made to support a baby’s development at different stages. They can stimulate babies’ brains and help them grow, but moreover, babies’ toys are made with safety in mind. They should be soft, easy-to-handle and free of choking hazards and most of them are.
For 0 to 3 months old
It’s pretty obvious that teeny-tiny, newborn babies don’t need toys – they can’t hold anything and like to spend most of their time sleeping. But although newborns can be sleepy at first, after only a few weeks you will notice that they are more awake and alert for longer periods of time, at different times of the day.
In the first couple of months, your newborn’s vision is fuzzy and he/she is able to see only in black, white and grey tones and a little bit of color. This is why you should focus mostly on finding newborn baby playing toys in high contrast colors preferably black and white. They are the best way for your baby to develop eyesight, lengthen his/her attention span, improve his/her memory and develop a healthier nervous system.
For instance, you can hang a black/white baby mobile toy above your baby’s crib or stroller to help strengthen visual stimulation and promote brain development. Just keep in mind that some are meant to stimulate your baby while others to soothe the little one to sleep, so make sure to use the appropriate one at appropriate times. If you notice that your baby gets too excited by the mobile toy, he/she might take longer to fall asleep or have trouble settling down. Stuffed plush toys can be a perfect companion for babies in the first couple of months.
From 4 to 6 months
At this stage, babies are more alert about the things around them. They develop a grip and learn to grasp so toys can be a great incentive for your baby to perfect his grabbing technique. Your baby will love to reach for objects, hold them, but also bang them and put them in his/her mouth. Some great newborn baby playing toys for this age include colorful rattles that have blinking lights and make noise. Rattles should be lightweight, soft and easy for your baby to hold in their hand.
Also, probably around this age your baby will learn to sit independently. Once he/she is able to sit up without support and have their hands free a whole new world of play opens up. They can learn from toys that they can move about, shake, put into and take out of larger containers.
Babies also love looking at pictures and simple storytelling, so you can buy a few books that are soft to touch so your child can touch it while looking at the pictures and hearing new words while you read. Reading to babies is very important for their language and vocabulary development.
Baby gyms and playmats can help keep your baby amused during tummy time. They often come with toys attached for little hands to grab, and the floor of the gym is often brightly coloured with interesting textures.
From 7 to 12 months
Older babies are movers – from standing up, to sitting, jumping and rolling over. They are able to lift heavier objects as their muscles start to strengthen. This is the perfect period to introduce them to action/reaction toys with moving parts and things to drop and take out, like balls, plastic bowls, large beads, nesting toys and building blocks as these can help babies understand the concept of cause and effect.
Around this age, they are likely to develop their first teeth, which can be a dreadful thing for baby to go through and parents to watch. If your infant is suffering, you might want to invest in some teething rings that that can soothe the gums and ease discomfort.