When to introduce baby toys?

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. 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.

Babies also learn about the world through senses, touch, sight and hearing, so some of the best toys for a 1-month-old can include toys with contrasting colors, soft sounds and different textures. In fact, babies must play with their toys every day to learn to fully interact with the world around them. Babies play with toys when they are happy, so make sure they have taken a nap and are well fed. For babies between two and six months old, toys that can be grasped will help them develop gross motor skills.

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. 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. However, for infants and toddlers, toys are actually an invaluable tool to help develop their physical and social skills. 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.

Rubber ducks, cups and jugs for pouring water and floating toys are ideal for babies to play in the bathtub. 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. 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. Babies also love to hit toys to make a sound, and cups are super easy to grab for this activity.

Activity mats will still appeal to 4- and 5-month-old children, but you can also introduce multi-textured books and toys that make sounds when your baby squeezes, squeezes or shakes them.

Latasha Stokely
Latasha Stokely

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