The toys for babies under one year

Nursery store clerks and retailers waste no time, and once you're on the hunt for diapers for your baby's nursery, you can't miss the toy shelves. Suddenly everything on the shelves is so colourful, beautiful, lively, squeaky and mobile!

Add to that the enticing labels on the packages: '0+', 'For early childhood development', 'For the little ones', 'Baby's first toy' and you're standing at the checkout with a pile of toys that you can't buy actually didn't want to buy it. Today we would like to find out which toys are really necessary for a newborn and which will significantly contribute to the development of the baby in the first year of life.

Toys for babies up to a year: 0-3 months

Play trapeze play arch for babies
 

From birth to 3 months old, mom or dad's familiar face is a baby's best entertainment and developmental aid. Any household item, such as the soft brush you use to brush your baby, the terry glove you use to wash your baby, the pack of tissues, etc., holds great developmental potential for a baby in the first three months and is a toy for sensory development of the child. Keep this in mind as you make a list of essentials before you go shopping.

You may make your baby's first toys yourself and buy only the bare essentials, or you may not buy any toys at all during this time.

Nonetheless, here is a list of the essential toys for a baby from birth to 3 months that can keep them entertained and act as props in your developmental games together. Here you will also find brief recommendations for choosing these toys.

  • A mobile to hang over the cot: When buying, pay special attention to the music on the phone - it shouldn't be too loud, too harsh or too sad, and you should like it - who knows how many times a day you'll have to listen to it :). Also, make sure it's sturdy and doesn't contain any small parts that could break off and fall on your baby. It's best if the items on the phone represent real, non-fictional characters, such as: As flowers, butterflies, fish, etc., and are kept in natural colors. Ideally, they should be removable so that you can easily swap them out for other interesting items to keep them fresh.
  • A bow with suspended toys for attachment in the cot / stroller / car seat: The above recommendations apply to this toy as well, but the ability to switch toys is particularly important. Daily walks and games make regular cleaning and changing of toys necessary - otherwise your baby will quickly become bored with the bow.
  • Paddles and garlands with rattles, squeaks, rustling on the stroller - Your baby will love to play with it and put it in his mouth later. So choose toys in clean, natural colors and made of washable, durable materials. To keep the child interested, it is enough to buy 2-3 garlands and pendants with different sounds and content (for example, one with a squeaker and a safe mirror, one with a rattle and rustle, one with a ring and chew).
  • Balls: You need balls of all sizes to play with your child from birth and beyond. Buy a light inflatable "beach" ball with a diameter of 20-25 cm, small fluffy balls for massaging baby's hands and feet, soft textile and knitted balls with various fillings - ringing, rustling, squeaking. For a comprehensive list of sensory development toys for babies under 1 year old click here.
  • Development Mat: To be honest I haven't found any mats on sale that meet my high expectations, but you may have better luck. If not, sew the mat yourself or have a craftswoman make it for you. The price of such a product is comparable to the price of a factory mat, and the quality and development potential are much higher.
  • Rattle: Choose 3-4 rattles of different shapes (in the form of a dumbbell, a bag, a ball with a handle, a bell on a stick, etc.), color and sound, preferably from different materials. Make some rattles difficult for little fingers to grasp - baby will try to grasp the toy, thus developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Make sure the rattles don't make any loud or shrill noises that could startle a child, or have any sharp edges or protruding corners.

Toys for babies up to a year: 3-6 months

Baby rattles and teethers
 

At this age, the "arsenal of toys" can be significantly expanded. The main criteria that you should be guided by when choosing a toy is safety for the child and the development potential of the toy. What will interest and entertain a 3-6 month old baby? First, everything you've bought before - provided you regularly replace the toys on the arches, mats and hangers. After 2-3 days of "separation", the baby rejoices and explores the forgotten toy like a new one. Here is a list of new acquisitions:

  • Matryoshka doll: Buy an ordinary, classic, wooden nesting doll, painted with not too dark colors, and immediately put away the smallest figures, leaving 3-4 of the largest.
  • bath toys: At this age, it is advisable to use small rubber toys for bathing, which are easy to grip with your hands. Buy products from reputable manufacturers and pay special attention to the color and smell of the toy. Too pungent "aroma" and fantastic coloring - reason not to buy. Keep your bath toys clean by washing them with baby detergent, drying them thoroughly after each bath and replacing them with a new toy at the first sign of mold. For ideas on how to use these toys, see our Play and Bathe article.
  • Dice: Choose lightweight plastic dice with slightly rounded edges or gentle dice for your first introductions.
  • teethers: While not exactly toys, opt for pieces that are easy for children's hands to grasp, can be chilled in the fridge and, of course, cleaned.
  • animal figures: Buy or make animal figures that you can use to illustrate nursery rhymes, fairy tales, etc. The toy should be realistic, not too big (the optimal size is 12-15 cm) and evoke positive feelings in the baby. A teddy bear, dog, cat, rabbit, squirrel, or fox are good clues.

Toys for babies up to a year: 6-9 months

Toys for babies up to a year: 6-9 months

Many toys from the past are still interesting for the baby, only the way of playing with them changes and becomes more complicated. For example, a rattle that the baby used to stare at, try to catch, and move from hand to hand can now be taught to ring progressively louder, even to music, or to the beat of a nursery rhyme being sung by a restless mom becomes. Other must-have toys for 6-9 month old babies:

  • Dice: It's time for wooden cubes. But beware of sharp corners and peeling paint. The best choice are unpainted wooden cubes. Make sure the surface of the cubes is smooth and free from scuffs or scratches, and still don't leave your baby unattended with this toy.
  • construction set: You can buy your child's first kit with large pieces and a simple connection mechanism. Do not try to build complex shapes, there will be enough of towers, which will only break until the baby.
  • sorting toys: The "box" - a house, car, boat, mushroom, etc. with differently shaped slots and a set of small shapes that the child must learn to put in the appropriate holes. Try to choose a version with large enough parts that eliminate the possibility of choking. Make sure the holes are big enough for the child to slide the matching pieces through freely, and make sure the child can take the pieces out of the box themselves to repeat the game.
  • Interactive toy with buttons, buttons: Of course, this isn't the most necessary toy, provided you pay a lot of attention to developing your baby's fine motor skills - play with grains and water, do regular finger exercises, etc. But kids love these toys, so there's no harm in 2-3 Having toys with buttons. Just don't try to buy what I call "100 in 1" toys that teach animal sounds, the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, "Hello" in 5 languages, etc. It would be best to have 1-2 functions, but corresponding to the child's age, then the toy will be really interesting and useful for him. By the way, a toy with an impeccable reputation belongs in the same category - the doll.
  • Dolls and accessories: For both boys and girls, the most common doll is recommended - with movable arms and legs, without hair, made of washable material. For this age can be limited to a set of clothes and a cot (which successfully replaces the appropriately decorated box from under the shoes), in which the baby will learn to put his "llya".
  • hand puppets: Hand puppets literally cast a spell over the little ones and require little acting skill from you. You can buy both individual characters and whole sets of fairy tale characters - choose according to your taste and budget. The doll is easy to sew or knit, but not too difficult to make.

Toys for babies up to a year: 9-12 months

Toys for babies up to a year: 9-12 months
 

Baby's play with cubes, a building set, a pyramid and Matryoshka dolls is becoming more diverse and interesting, and we offer new developmental toys to help your baby develop new skills and abilities.

  • Pyramids: For the first game with a pyramid, a version with a large, significantly different size of rings and an expandable base is suitable - such a pyramid is simply impossible to assemble incorrectly, and it will be easier for you to explain the principle to your baby. In the future, you can buy 1-2 more pyramids of different sizes and from other materials.
  • Mosaic: Get your baby's first desk or, even better, a floor mosaic with large elements. Teach to lay a path, a caterpillar, a flower and other simple elements.
  • rolling toy: Suitable for toddlers and toddlers. Get a few specimens on a stick that you roll in front of you and on a string that you drag with you. A good purchase would be a bouncer which baby can push by the handle or which baby can sit and ride on by pushing down - we still (from 9mths to 2.5yrs) enjoy using this device.
  • A play set with utensils and toy food: It's time to diversify your games with the baby (by the way, you can buy 1-2 more dolls for the company) - it's useful set of dishes (I recommend at least partially using real dishes - like plastic bowls, bowls , container with lid, cutting board, wooden and silicone shovel, colander, etc. When purchasing, please make sure that the toy products are the same in color, shape and size ratio as the real products.You can make your own products for the game, such as: B. made of felt, wool or crochet.

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