Which toys to buy

For the early months, toys with textures, noise and movement will help your baby develop:

  • Colour and shape recognition
  • Hand-eye co-ordination
  • Awareness of cause and effect

Look for:

  • Cot mobiles that rotate and play a pretty tune; some are coloured black and white
    because it’s believed that very young babies see mono better than colours
  • Light-shows that project colours and moving shapes on to the ceiling and may play a tune too
  • Cot activity centres that strap onto the cot side and provide amusement, particularly good for a baby who is sitting up
  • Soft activity toys that are bright and colourful and have play value too. If you want to buy a cuddly toy, look for one with extra features like different textures and/or sounds. Cuddly furry toys are often bought as gifts for young babies but they are actually much more interesting to a five or six year old who can appreciate the ‘cuteness’. Be aware that babies can choke on the fluff from soft toys, so stick to those designed specifically for this age group
  • Rattles, squeakers and teething toys – babies enjoy having a good shake and chew
  • Toys that attach onto the pram, the pushchair, the car seat or the highchair, with
    straps, buckles and suction pads to keep them in place

For the later months, toys that a baby can control will continue to develop the skills he’s already learnt. They will also help:

play4.gif (37448 bytes)

  • Balance and mobility
  • To develop the imagination
  • Manipulative skills

Look for:

  • Shape sorters – posting the right piece into its slot is challenging and very satisfying
  • Pull and push along toys and rolling balls – great for getting a baby crawling and walking
  • Musical toys – fun, good for making a lot of noise, learning about pitch and rhythm and developing a sense of achievement
  • Stacking toys and building bricks – creating towers is impressive, knocking them down is even better
  • Sit on and ride toys – give a sense of freedom and independence as well as good exercise
  • Bath toys – may encourage reluctant bathers into the bath and make wash time play time. Can often double up for use in the sandpit or paddling pool outside
  • Role play toys – such as a toy phone with buttons to press and noises to listen to while you mimic mum and dad

While many baby toys are still made along traditional lines, there’s an increasing
number that are electronically based, using batteries as a power source. While some don’t
add a great deal of play value to the toy, others are excellent, even though it means
you’ll need a never ending supply of batteries.

Before you buy an electronic toy, check how loud and penetrating any noises are and, if
the toy speaks, the quality and accent of the voice. Lots of parents complain about the
repetitive voices and noises, even if their babies seem to love them.

All battery-powered toys for this age group should have toddler-proof battery
compartments, however, you still need to be vigilant if an older child can take the
batteries out.

This entry was posted in , . Bookmark the permalink.
Photo Credit: NCT