The huge array of baby toys on the shelves in local toy shops can be pretty daunting when you are a new mum. The choice is vast; do you need all of these brightly-coloured, noisy and expensive toys? In my opinion, no. You can put together a great starter toy collection for your little bundle very easily and cheaply with only six essentials.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a children’s book nut! In my opinion the earlier you introduce your baby to books, the better and the more likely they will be to go on to be life-long readers. For small babies under 6 months old I recommend buying fabric books for them to explore. Fabric books usually have extra features in them such as flaps, crinkles and squeaky bits. These add more interest and will keep little fingers exploring making it a more sensory experience which we know is oh-so-important for our little ones. Take time to read with your baby and to show them how to turn the pages everyday if possible.
2. Noisy Toys
Noisy toys are great for engaging little one’s in play. When shaking a noisy toy, such as a rattle, babies will be interested for much longer due to receiving some kind of ‘pay off’ from the toy, in this case a happy sound. Most baby toys will incorporate sounds somewhere, crinkly sounds, rattles, squeaky bits, bells…and plenty more.
3. Multi-Functional Toy
Lots of baby toys have many different features. A good toy is one that has different textures, sounds, colours and lots of extra things on it. As mentioned in my video (scroll down), Lamaze are brilliant for these type of toys and have a huge range, though they can be found anywhere. These kinds of toys stimulate babies senses on many different levels, sparking their interest and encouraging them to explore. A perfect toy to pop into your changing bag and take out with you!
Obviously a baby is not going to be throwing, catching or rolling a ball just yet…but that doesn’t mean that balls do not have a place in your baby’s toybox. Far from it! Balls are a great tool for encouraging movement in babies. If your baby is playing with a ball and it rolls away from them they are very likely to move and try to draw the ball back to them by turning or moving towards it. Soft balls are best at this age and usually have rattles or bells inside which is an added bonus!
Babies are notorious for mouthing almost everything they can get their hands on so having a dedicated teething toy is a good idea. I personally prefer wooden or plastic teethers as I think they are easier to keep clean, nice and hard for baby to munch on and they don’t get all soggy.
6. Rainbow Streamer
Not an everyday toy that you may come across but this is probably one of our most used and versatile toys. I made ours when Sophia was a baby and she still loves to play with it now she is two, though obviously she now plays with it in a different way. It is an enchanting toy for a small baby with it’s different colours and it’s swishing movements. I like to lay Harrison down and dangle it over him to grab or just to the side of him to encourage rolling over. He also loves it when I gently move it over his face. (Due to the length of the ribbons I would only use this under strict supervision.) I’m planning to do a DIY tutorial on this very soon!
I hope you have found this post useful and reassuring that you do not need to buy a huge collection of toys to begin with. I also made a YouTube video on this so take a look (and don’t forget to subscribe!)
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