Although newborns do not need any toys, by the age of three months, they are generally ready for you to start introducing some age appropriate playthings. Toys for babies at this stage should be centered around their developing senses, so choosing playthings which make different sounds, have different textures and provide a visual stimulus are a good choice.
Here are some examples of good toys for babies up to 1 year old:
Tiny Love Soothe ‘n Groove Mobile, Blue 0-24 monthsFisher-Price Precious Planet 2-in-1 Projection MobileFisher-Price Moonlight Meadow Smart Connect 2-in-1 Projection MobileSkip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Projection Mobile, White, Safari
Hanging a mobile over a crib is a good idea and represents an excellent way to help babies learn to focus. Bright colors and interesting shapes will entertain baby and provide a strong visual stimulus. It is important, however, to remember to remove a mobile as soon as baby can sit up unaided or grasp for out of reach items.
Board and Cloth Books
Introducing cloth or board books to infants at an early stage not only encourages early reading skills such as holding books correctly and turning pages, but also provides an attractive visual stimulus. Brightly colored illustrations can be paired with textured pages to help sensory development.
Rattles and Sound Producing Toys
One of the most popular toys to give young babies is a rattle and there is a good reason for this. Playthings which squeak, rattle or make interesting sounds is an excellent way to promote auditory development and in addition, baby will learn about cause and effect – if they shake the rattle, they will produce a noise. Musical boxes, mobiles and other musical toys are also a good choice at around this age and will help to develop an infant’s aural skills.
When babies reach the age of 4 to 6 months they start to become interested in their own reflection and begin to smile at what they see in a baby safe mirror.
Once baby has reached around 9 months of age and can sit unsupported, it is a good time to introduce some toys into their bath time. Learning to pour water will assist in the development of gross motor skills while introducing them to a range of different sensations.
Pull Along and Push Along Toys
When baby is ready to begin learning to walk, pull along and push along toys are a great idea. Providing baby with a means of support, these playthings will give them encouragement to boost their gross motor skills.
There are some toys which should definitely be avoided by this age group. These include:
- Any toys with long cords, strings or ribbons as these may represent a strangulation hazard
- Toys with small pieces or loose parts such as marbles or batteries as they may be accidentally swallowed
- Any toys with sharp or pointed edges
- Any toy painted with a lead-based substance
- Stuffed toys with eyes which can easily be removed or body parts which may become detatched
- Any product made from PVC