Although younger babies can interact with age-appropriate toys, such as shaking a rattle, it's not until after 6 months that babies actually start playing with toys in the more conventional sense of the word, for example, throwing blocks, rolling a ball, or cuddling with a teddy bear. By then, your baby will begin to grab the toys that interest him at his fingertips. They'll start playing with toys on their own, and guess what they do? They put them in their mouths. For the first two months of life, the baby does not need or want toys.
Most babies don't even discover their own hands until around two months of age. Now you'll see your baby's personality emerge. In the first or second month of life, newborns rely on other people to initiate the interaction. But by the end of the third month, your baby will attract her with facial expressions, vocalizations and gestures.
For now, you are mainly the one who “plays with toys with the goal of providing sounds and images that facilitate learning and comfort for your baby. The types of toys your baby is likely to enjoy playing with at this stage will be those that you can easily see or those that make noise. Babies play with toys when they are happy, so make sure they have taken a nap and are well fed. According to Rosenberg, they won't start playing favorites with toys until around 5 to 7 months of age, when they start to develop attachments and enter the object's permanence stage, the concept of understanding that if a toy is out of sight, that doesn't mean it's gone forever.
In fact, babies must play with their toys every day to learn to fully interact with the world around them. Rosenberg says that for babies 0-3 months old, you should focus on super-simple toys that make noise or play music so they can start tracking sounds. At five inches in diameter, this ball is perfect for babies three months and older to practice their fine and gross motor skills while grasping and rolling, and can be easily tucked into the car or diaper bag as a travel toy. At this point, toys come more into play, but you can also help your baby by placing his favorite items close enough for him to grab.
Mia Rosenberg, a psychotherapist and owner of Upsider Therapy, tells Romper that babies will likely begin to show interest in toys within the first few months of their lives. Babies also begin to explore their surroundings with their hands, reaching out, tapping and grabbing their favorite toy. From 6 to 9 months, you'll want toys that make sounds and have textures, but they should also be safe, as babies are likely to put them in their mouths. For babies between two and six months old, toys that can be grasped will help them develop gross motor skills.