How to Choose the Right Toys for Your Newborn
Whether you have a newborn or are expecting your first child, you are probably making a list of all the things you want for the little bundle who will soon call you mom and dad. On almost every parent’s list is a set of toys for their baby to play with during those first few months. If you're like me, you're feeling a little overwhelmed with all of your options at this point, so I wanted to take a few moments and give you some advice on how to choose safe toys for newborn. Babies love playing with things that are colorful and move (e.g. lights, mobiles, stuffed animals) so in addition to leading them in ways to interact with these toys as they get older, it's important to buy toys that are safe and have developmental value.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying toys for your newborn baby.
The toys you buy should be suitable for your newborn’s age. These toys will maximise your child’s learning potential and help her reach developmental milestones easily. Always read the packaging of the toy you are planning to buy to make sure you are buying toys that are age-appropriate.
All newborn toys are designed with babies in mind. That said, buy newborn toys that do not have any strings and detachable parts that could be potential choking hazards. When buying wooden newborn toys, make sure that the toys have rounded edges, smooth surfaces and are chunky in size. When buying any toy that is made from cloth or other fabric, make sure that the threading and stitching is good and does not get loose easily.
Materials should also be at the top of your list. Newborn toys should not contain unsafe and toxic materials. This is one of the reasons why we highly recommend staying away from plastic toys. Plastic toys often come with chemicals like BPA even if they are advertised as BPA-free. Keep in mind that there are many types of plastics used in making toys and while some of them are considered safe than others, it would be better to just stay away from them altogether.
When buying toys for your newborn, follow the general rule of thumb - less is better. This means that newborn toys should be as simple as possible. Remember that the one playing the toy is your newborn which means she would not enjoy overly complicated toys. A baby should be easy to operate and she should be able to enjoy the toy by herself.
The toy should provide entertainment to a newborn now and when she grows older. Look for toys that have bright colours and produce sounds when shaken. For example, a toy that is a rattle and can also double as a teether is practical and entertaining.
Toys help babies develop skills and abilities like colour recognition, visual acuity, fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, gross motor skills and more. Most newborn toys are designed to stimulate and facilitate development of skills and choose the ones that are appropriate for your newborn.
Next Up: Benefits of Providing Toys to Newborns