What Toys Do Babies Actually Need?

When it comes to choosing toys for your new baby, it's important to stick to safe, simple objects that encourage exploration and open play. Rattles, balls, activity gyms, and tabletop books are great for helping your baby reach developmental milestones during their first six months of life. One of the oldest toys in existence, balls can be used from childhood to adulthood. Babies will reach for them during floor play, while those who can sit and crawl will enjoy throwing, rolling, and chasing them.

Cups or nesting boxes are also great for helping babies classify shapes and colors. They can be turned around and used as mini engineering projects, building tall towers. Later on, these cups and boxes can be used in imaginative games such as bowls or pots, nests or beds, doll houses, and parking garages. If they're plastic, you can even use them in the bathroom!It's never too early to introduce books to your baby.

Even if they can't keep their head up yet, they'll still enjoy cuddling in your arms and listening to the rhythmic sound of your voice as you read. Once they can sit down, babies like to turn pages and look at photographs. Parents should choose books made of sturdy cloth or cardboard with simple graphics. Interactive sensory books with squeaks, different textures that baby can feel, or flaps that can lift are an excellent option. Basic blocks are a must-have for any toy collection.

During tummy time, a few colored cubes spread out will attract the baby to raise their head and extend their fingers. Later on, small architects will enjoy organizing and stacking them. Depending on the design, these multifaceted toys can also be used to teach colors, letters, and numbers. Some even have puzzles on one side. For babies, make sure their first set of blocks includes cubes that fit comfortably in their small hands.

These 10 toys can give your baby a big step forward in learning - and one company has it covered for all of them!Seriously - at birth, the 100 billion nerve cells in the brain are mostly disconnected. In the first three years of life, babies develop a network that connects them and establishes the foundation of their intelligence throughout life. Child development experts have found that the more babies are exposed to how the world works in those early years, the richer their neural networks become. For the first few months, your child has a lot in common with a mole - they don't see very well and enjoy confined spaces. This should come as no surprise since they spent the first few months in the womb - a dark underground house if ever there was one! In other words, it's time to start training those eyes. Babies are very short-sighted for the first three months (seeing best at a distance of 8 to 10 inches from their face) and have difficulty processing anything other than high-contrast images (think black, white or red).

Black and white cards are a practical way to give newborns the right kind of stimulation - you'll want to increase the complexity of the images as they turn two or three months old. A grasping ball or something else that rolls like a rolling bell is one of the most useful toys to learn in the first year. During tummy time, your baby picks up, grabs, squeezes and mouths a ball. Rolling something back and forth in front of your baby can teach them about circles and spheres - you can use a favorite rolling toy to entice them to reach out, slide around and move their body closer to get what they want. They can practice raking before throwing and eventually catching it. Between six and nine months old is when everyone is a magician for your baby - remove an object and as far as they're concerned it'll be gone forever! They're starting to learn “the permanence of objects” - or the idea that when objects can't be seen they don't disappear forever. A tool for practicing this is called an object permanence box - a ball dropped inside only disappears for a moment before being seen again - mastering manipulation of the ball inside also gives good motor skills practice. Your baby doesn't NEED toys from day one - in the first few weeks they need your comfort, milk sleep and warmth.

Toys that will really attract their imagination at different stages of development during their first 12 months include soft balls which are ideal for babies from a few weeks old. The six multi-textured My First Baby soft sensory balls come in bright colors and interesting textures to encourage sensory exploration - promoting tactile development with different sizes textures and shapes. It's worth buying their first soft balls and blocks with labels on them even though at first it won't interest them - this way their first toys will support later stages of development. So even though 10 months is too early to play with them I'd recommend buying a peg puzzle now so you get the most out of it possible! The first 12 months of a baby's life are amazing so it's wonderful to be able to support their development with toys they'll love.

Latasha Stokely
Latasha Stokely

Typical zombie scholar. Passionate bacon specialist. Proud bacon fan. Freelance food fanatic. Incurable social media evangelist.