Choosing the Best Baby Toys
With all the baby toys out there, how do you choose what to buy your baby? You want a toy that will entertain and also stimulate your baby’s brain, but there is so much junk on the shelves you do not want to make a wrong choice. How do you know what is right for your baby at what age?
The first thing you want to look for when choosing a toy for your baby is the age on the box that it says the toy is for. Most toys made by companies like Fisher Price, Sesame and others will have ages listed on their boxes. These will either be a general age like “0-6 Months” or a minimum age like “6+”. These ages let you know if the toy might be too difficult for your baby to figure out, or in some cases a toy might have pieces that are too small for your baby to play with and could be hurtful to him. In most cases you should never buy a toy for your baby that is not appropriate for his age.
The next thing to consider is if your baby really needs a toy. Yes, a pumpkin rattle may be adorable, but if Jr. already has 5 rattles, does he really need this new one? How many teething toys, stuffed animals or what-not does your baby need? Some things your baby will need while some he won’t, and if you don’t feel he needs it, your money could be spent better elsewhere on something he DOES need.
It is important to think of safety when choosing toys. Does the toy have any sharp edges on it that could hurt your baby, or any small pieces that he could break off, or fall off that he could try to put in his mouth? Is the toy big enough that he can’t fit it into his mouth? Stay away from toys that have things sewn on them, or button eyes which are glued on and can easily pop off. It will be a while before your baby won’t try to put everything in his mouth and you don’t want to give him anything that he could eventually choke on.
You should also think about whether or not a toy will stimulate your baby’s mind at all and help him learn. Many toys out there are made with the purpose of helping your child recognize words, animals, and encourage them to use coordination and tap into their cause and effect as well as critical thinking skills. Pick toys that will help your baby learn and encourage their brain to grow.
Where will your child be using the toys? There are many areas in your child’s life that will call for a wide arrange of toys or a specialized toy. At home in the living room you can use most toys, big or small, of all shapes and sizes. However you can’t take these toys in the bath normally. Once your baby is old enough to play with toys in the bath, you should have some water toys for your baby to help keep him entertained. If your baby can have fun in the bath he will learn to love his baths making your job easier down the road. There are also smaller toys designed for car seats and being on the go that you can invest in to help keep your outings more enjoyable, not only for your baby, but also for the whole family.
You don’t always have to spend money to find a great toy for your baby. A baby can be entertained by items you have laying around the house. Old plastic cups and plates can keep your baby entertained for hours. Pots and pans, along with a wooden spoon can allow your baby to make his own noise, err music, keeping everyone in the house singing and dancing. You can tie an old shirt or a dish cloth in a knot and play tug of war with it with your baby. Use your imagination, keeping safety in mind, and toys around the house will begin to pop up everywhere.
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