Baby toys for every stage
Today’s baby toys go far beyond traditional teddy bears and rattles. Explore our selection of terrific developmental infant toys appropriate to the many stages of a child’s first two years. Many newborn toys are high-contrast sensory toys, like crib mobiles and soft toys that attract and hold newborn’s gaze and attention as their visual acuity improves. Musical toys can be calming for babies from the earliest days: soothing melodies or white noise played close to the bassinet or crib can help lull little ones to sleep. As babies develop a sense of object permanence, playing peekaboo with entertaining plush toys, dolls, and even blocks or balls will delight them. Usually within the first 6 months, teething toys become important for soothing baby’s gums: today’s options include 100% natural rubber or food-grade silicone in a variety of textures. Other great options: sensory toys that are easy for baby to grip, safe to chew on, and interesting for them to touch, shake, and toss around.
Baby toys on the move
Tummy time toys are an important part of developmental play. Check out baby play gyms with hanging toys as versatile ways to engage little ones as they learn to hold their heads up around 3 months old, roll over at about 4 months old, sit independently around 8 months old and eventually creep and crawl. Consider an irresistible activity jumper or a baby play mat that converts to a baby ball pit for a little one to sit in solo and have some fun. As babies reach about 9 months, crawling toys can provide real excitement: some fun tech toys are designed specifically for them to chase! Moving from crawling to toddling, an activity walker can provide motivation for little ones with rewarding musical features, lights, sounds, and other educational play options. Some versatile push walkers convert from standing toys to rolling toys to assist babies learning to walk. And from the toy walker, toddlers can graduate to ride-on toys they can propel with their feet on the floor to enjoy more speed! These make terrific Christmas gifts for a busy 18-month-old.
Keep it simple – or not
Newborn toys and infant toys especially can be delightfully uncomplicated: soft textures, simple shapes, and natural materials. Organic cotton stuffed animals or wooden toys in the Montessori style – building blocks or rattles, for example – can be just as rewarding and engaging as high-tech toys with lots of buttons, lights, and sounds. Many contemporary toy makers are combining tech and natural materials, like an electronic musical piano with wooden keys. Activity jumpers often feature a mix of simple sensory toys like noisemakers and spinners and higher-tech features like touch- or motion-activated lights and sounds. Toddlers are often especially attracted to grownups’ devices, making toy tablets, toy smartphones and other enticing tech toys particularly popular. These often feature interactive educational aspects like teaching letters, numbers, colors, or animals. When buying baby toys, so you can keep it as simple or complicated as you wish!