Whether you are shopping for someone who has just had a baby or you are expecting one yourself, this is certainly an exciting and special time in your life, as well as that of the baby. However, it is not always easy to know what you should purchase for a newborn. Of course, diapers, wipes, and other necessities are obvious, but what about toys for the baby? Which toys are best for the baby and which are simply a waste of money? In order to choose the most appropriate toys for the newborn in your life, you have to have an understanding of the development process.
From one to three months, a baby is simply learning to live in his surroundings. During these three months, he will raise his head, track objects with his eyes, smile, and begin gripping things put in his hand. Toward the end of the first three months, he may start to raise his hand to his mouth and try to grab objects dangling from above. For these reasons, a baby gym is a great idea. Just make certain it has plenty of bright colors because newborns are not able to see low contrast objects that are more than a foot away.
You may also want to purchase a set of plastic links. They can be used alone to encourage fine motor skill development or added to the baby gym. When choosing a toy for a newborn, you cannot go wrong with plastic links and a baby gym. Best of all, he will be able to continue playing with them well past his first birthday.
From four to six months, babies attempt to manipulate the things they see. They are starting to realize they have their own voice and are learning to use their hands. While awake, they are constantly babbling and rolling over from front to back. They can also reach out to grab things (watch what jewelry you wear when holding a baby of this age), laugh out loud, and sit up with support.
This is a good time to purchase plush animal toys because they will encourage and improve these behaviors. These are inexpensive toys that can be easily found at several internet retail outlets. You may also want to purchase a set of squeeze toys for bath time. They encourage hand movements and the development of other fine motor skills. Newborns, as well as older children, will enjoy these toys and they encourage grasping, oral exploration, and visual tracking.
When choosing sets of blocks for a newborn, opt for soft, cloth blocks instead of plastic or wooden ones because they are considerably safer – or make them yourself! Babies love to play with blocks well after their first birthday, so you definitely get your money’s worth out of them. For even more fun, choose cloth blocks that have attached bells or other sound making objects. It’s a good idea to purchase sets that feature numbers and letters so that as the baby grows he can use them for learning.
Small rattle balls are also ideal for newborns and older children. There are plenty of great sets available which have balls to produce various sounds. This will make kids happy and help the baby learn to discriminate between them, as well as promote fine motor skill development, sound localization, and visual tracking.