As parent to a newborn, you will get visits from many family members and friends, and they will ask you what kind of present they can bring. This is a tough question, because what does a baby really need in its first months, except for: Love, physical contact, food, rest, and other caretaking? This makes asking for specific presents, except for clothes, for this phase of your child’s life difficult.
What do babies play with?
Young babies respond to sound; they recognize your voice and enjoy being sung to. The baby is training his or her eyes, and soon those eyes will follow you when you are nearby. The baby’s hands remain closed in the beginning, but when they open, he or she will start touching things, feeling your face, and trying to grab other things.
There are some great educational toys for babies available for this phase in life. Think of: books with children’s songs, picture books, music mobiles, stuffed animals for in bed, rattles, activity cubes or activity gyms. There is a lot to choose from, and it can be tough to pick the right thing. In my day-to-day experience as a teacher, a mother and a grandmother, I have come across a great deal of educational toys. Below I have compiled a selection of my favorites. It is important that the toys not only capture your baby’s attention, but that they contribute to your child’s development. These are my favorite baby toys:
A Variety of Rattles
This set includes the rattles and teething rings that babies need in their first months. They have different grips, textures, colors, patterns, shapes and functions, which is great for sensory development. They are all safe and hygienic.
These simple Stack-Up Cups will quickly become any baby’s favorite; they are simple, but incredibly educational. Through playing with these cups, babies train their motor skills and gain insight into size (large and small), balance and color. And what fun when it is time to knock over the tower!
Wooden Baby Cars
Every baby’s playpen should have some toys made out of honest wood. These wooden cars are great for both boys and girls; to bite into, and to develop motor skills.
Babies are encouraged to explore through playing with this inviting activity cube.
Interactive Pop-Up Animals Toy
When our children were little, we used to have just about the same toy by Fisher Price. The baby develops his or her motor skills, learns about cause and effect and trains his or her memory. A lot of fun and educational!
Perfectly Handmade Stuffed Animal
Every doll is unique and has a story. Each one is made with certified non-toxic, natural and safe materials. A beautiful gift for babies and toddlers.
This stuffed animal is my favorite for babies aged 6 months and older. Violet has more than 15 functions, including 40 songs, melodies and lullabies. She helps teach your baby his or her first words and you can connect Violet to your computer for easy personalization without taking Violet out of the box.
This cute little book rustles and rattles and surprises.
Walker – for Baby’s First Steps
This is my favorite walker, because it has so many functions to aid your baby’s development. The play panel is removable and can therefore be used in different situations as well. You will find that there are many different functions for your child to enjoy: shape sorters, piano keys, telephone, spinning rollers, and musical buttons.
A great book to incorporate into your baby’s bedtime ritual, see my blog: ‘20 Best Tips for Sleep Problems’. A book with beautiful illustrations and 10 soothing lullabies to help your baby fall asleep.
Less is more
It is important to be responsible about the toys you offer your baby. Make sure that you do not give your baby too many toys all at once. Give him or her the chance to discover all the features, to recognize the toy, to choose a specific toy as a favorite and get attached to it. Remember: less is more!
There was a time in my children’s lives that they would just crawl around and go into the kitchen cupboards to play with the Tupperware etc. At that time, the very best game to them was; open the door, take everything out of the cupboard, try to stack the Tupperware, or try to fit one inside the other, or perhaps bang on it with a wooden ladle. You see, something does not necessarily need to be a toy for your baby to play with it.