What Are Good Baby Toys
There are so many baby toys you could spend your money on so how do you pick out the good ones that are worth spending your money on and your time playing with.
When babies are very young they don't need or want toys. As they grow and become more alert they will start showing interest in their environment and begin to engage with movement, bright colours and sounds or music. At this point, you'll probably want to start introducing a few carefully selected toys.
Good toys for newborns are safe, engaging and designed to stimulate cognitive and physical development.
So how do you sort the good toys from the bad ones?
Firstly you need to be sure that toys are safe for your baby to play with. Although you're not going to leave a baby unattended with any toy, it only takes your attention to be diverted for a second for a potentially dangerous toy to harm your baby.
Check that the toys you are buying have been designed for babies. If not they may have loose parts or small pieces that could come off in babies mouth and cause a choking hazard.
Of course, there are some everyday items that make great toys. A wooden spoon for example and a pot to bang with it. But just be mindful that some things might not be suitable for very young babies.
Good for early development
Good toys are those that are engaging and that encourage babies development in one or more ways.
Soft cuddly toys develop a sense of touch. Lots of soft toys that are designed for babies will often have a variety of textures for baby to explore. Of course, they'll also be developing this sense of touch as they explore their clothes, blankets, your clothes, skin, etc.
Toys such as rattles or musical mobiles are great for developing listening skills. From the moment they are born you may notice your baby responds to the sound of your voice, and from around 2 months you may find they enjoy playing with rattles (soft ones are best at first) or are calmed by music.
As your baby grows in strength a play mat can be a great way to encourage tummy time. Especially if there are things for them to reach out and grasp at.
By around 5 months your baby will start learning about cause and effect. Ie they start to realise that the things that they do make other things happen. Whether it's learning that if they shake a rattle it makes a noise, or that you make a noise or come running when they throw something out a chair or pram.
Musical toys are great at this stage of development.
A little after they start to figure out cause and effect they begin to develop hand-eye coordination. This is the time to start playing with simple stacking toys or boxes that babies can put things into and out of.
Teething toys are also pretty essential when your babies teeth start coming through. Natural rubber toys are great for this, or wooden teethers that really give them something to bite on.
What should you avoid when buying toys for your little one?
Obviously you want to avoid buying anything that hasn't been designed and tested to be safe for babies.
It's also best to avoid overly complicated toys. When it comes to babies toys should be simple and easy for them to handle and explore. If there's too much going on, babies can become overwhelmed so it's better to have a few simple toys than one toy that is trying to do everything.
So now we have some idea of what makes a good baby toy let's look at the best toys for babies.