Selecting toys that stimulate the development of your baby through play is a wonderful idea. Picking an age appropriate toy has the following advantages:
- Help babies develop their senses and eventually their motor skills
- Help babies interact, discover and be conscious of their surroundings
- Keep them occupied during periods when they are awake and keep them entertained.
Development is not the only reason you should invest on good toys for your kids, you’ll make some wonderful memories seeing your baby discover and interact with objects!
Make sure that you do not choose toys that are simply visually appealing to you. If your child is between the ages of 1-3 months, it’s important to get toys which they can interact with and are non-hazardous. Beware of choking hazards, avoid buying toys with small parts as little ones explore new objects by putting them in their mouths. Also consider buying toys manufactured by reputed brands as these toy companies spend time and resources on toy development and quality assessment. This way you ensure that you are buying products which are not unsafe to children.
Baby’s abilities in relation to the characteristics of toys.
During the first few months of your baby’s life, his or her interactions are limited though he will be able to fully interact with certain types of toys. Even though your baby’s vision will be fuzzy during the first month, he will be able focus on things which are around 8 inches in front him. This will gradually increase up to 15 inches from his face as weeks passes. He will also be drawn to the human face, recognise your voice from before birth and will search for your face! As he develops he will try to mimic your facial expressions, hear sounds and explore where sounds come from. From a visual perspective, bright colours and high contrast colours will interest him and he will appreciate sounds.
Here are some toys that we think are very suitable for your little 1-3 month old munchkin!
Baby Mobiles are not just a part of nursery decor. Mobiles will most definitely relax your baby and entertain him. As your baby gets older, he will be stimulated by sound and try to for where the sound is coming from. A baby mobile is a wonderful device which will give him gentle eye exercise and help him become vocal. You may find that you baby will try to coo along with the music from the mobile.
There is a wide selection of soothers to chose from. Some mobiles will incorporate visual and auditory stimulation. There are ones that play soft nursery rhymes, classical music or sounds of nature (rain forests) etc. Then there are some which incorporates a projection of lights and other visuals. Advanced soothers can be controlled via an app from which you can control music, visuals and a timer. Whichever kind you feel comfortable trying out, a soother with gentle sounds, music and sights helps baby understand when it’s time to wind down and go to sleep.
Activity Gyms are wonderful playtime for your very young toddlers. Apart from keeping them entertained for a short while – activity gyms offer tummy time, helps develop their muscles and offer plenty of fun and stimulation while helping them enhance their skills and development. Once again there are different varieties to be found. There are basic ones which are easier in terms of storage – they are foldable and portable, like this:
And there are others, which are slightly more techy (but fun!) which can be paired with your iphone and through which parents chose apps designed to deliver unique interactivity with the gym toys, like this: Unbreakable Mirrors
Smaller babies are drawn to the human face and expressions. They love exploring their mum’s & dad’s faces and will go through a stage when they find their own reflections fascinating! You will see them exploring their facial expressions and trying out smiling, laughing and various other cute expressions which are simply adorable! An unbreakable mirror (please chose a reputed brand!) will help your baby explore his reflection and will allow wonderful playtime. This is also a rather good toy to use during diaper change. Do check out our Essentials for a Diaper Changing Station right here.
Rattles are good fun and a great way through which your little one will be able to experiment with sound, and discover colour and patterns. It’s also the start of his development with hand eye coordination, so stock some up! These are particularly entertaining when baby is on the move and there are many different kinds of rattles that are available – some which can be secured onto a pram or carseat!
You baby is never too young to be read too! Soft books which are made out of cloth are great exploration for newborns and early toddlers. Babies love brightly coloured pictures and patterns so these books are usually visually appealing. There are also books which babies can explore touch and move certain parts to better interact with them. Reading this young can be very rewarding and interactive as you will often find baby trying to mimic the words and sounds you make!
Remember -when choosing toys for your little one, be it a little baby or toddler, it is important to buy age appropriate toys. Buying age appropriate toys will help develop skills essential for their age group. It will also help them enjoy their toy and not feel frustrated whilst playing. And don’t forget; never leave babies for more than a few minutes alone with their toys – child safety first!
This article has links to associated websites for the purpose of providing comprehensive information to Parents and Caregivers. We hope you find this information useful.