Toys for infants, where to start! There are so many choices that it can be difficult to know what to select. For the most part, newborns won't be passing a ball or stacking blocks. They are stimulated by touch, sound and colors. Toys should match a child's developmental stages and change over time meeting their appropriate abilities.
For newborns, look for simple toys with different textures. Items easy to grab and chew on; toys such as a rattle or socks that make noise when touched are a great. Vinyl, cloth and sturdy board books will also be good toys for a newborn. Remember infants will try and put everything in their mouths. Be sure the toys are large enough to prevent a baby from swallowing and choking on any small pieces.
As your newborn grows they will begin to develop more dexterity and fine motor skills. They start becoming mobile by rolling over and sitting up. Before long they are crawling and pulling themselves up. Toys should start to become more geared towards these developmental milestones. Again simple toys that help teach basic skills like stacking and nesting toys are ideal. At this age, basic understanding of their individual self often begins to develop. Pretend play with toy cars or dolls can help encourage language and thinking skills as well as social and emotional skills.
Older babies will enjoy more interactive and creative toys. Building objects like wooden blocks, toys with moving parts and puzzles are great toys for babies. Large cardboard boxes can be used to create play houses for baby or their dolls and stuffed animals. These types of toys and playtime can help develop problem solving and social interaction. Crayons are also fun, encourage creativity and can help improve fine motor skills.
Other items such as music and sound books t are great for all ages of babies. Picture books can entertain a little one too. While one should limit screen time even at these early ages, educational cartoons are fun for baby too.
Most importantly be sure to check your baby's toys to make sure they remain in safe condition. Closely monitor your baby's play time. Ensure the size of the toy is large enough to not allow a small baby to swallow.
Last but not least - Join In! Yes, get down and play with your baby. The time and bonding are irreplaceable.
* The tips above are the opinion of the writer and not meant as professional advice. Always check with your pediatrician.