What Are The Appropriate Toys For Infants?
Oh look, your little girl has grown big over the past period of months. What that means is that she has outgrown the toys you bought her when she was a newborn, and now you need to upgrade. So, what are the appropriate toys for infants according to their age milestones?
For an infant, you need toys that are more stimulating and age appropriate. As a parent or childcare provider, you need to match toys to an infant’s age, interests, abilities and development goals.
Careful planning and thought should, therefore, be put into choosing toys so that your baby develops at the right pace and is always kept occupied while you get stuff done around the house. This process requires that you know what appropriate toys for infants are.
This article will give you some ideas for choosing the appropriate toys for your little champ.
Appropriate Toys for an Infant
Between the ages of 1 month and 12 months, infants are normally not fussy when playing with toys. In fact, give her any toys, and you will have a happy little one because newborns can play with almost everything at this stage. However, this means that it is you the parent who has to be fussy and picky when picking toys for her.
Since playing is crucial for the physical, mental, social and the emotional development of babies, the toys have to achieve the benefits acquired when your baby plays. Age appropriateness, fun, safety, and stimulation are the keys to a successful playtime. Here are some toy ideas that you might consider.
This is the age in which babies discover “cause and effect scenario.” They discover that when you shake or jab certain items, they produce some sound. At the same time, the baby also learns to use her hands, eyes, feet and most senses.
It is the cause and effect skill that is unique as the babies get to control their actions since they get a reaction that they enjoy. In turn, they will repeat this action over and over.
That is why lightweight rattles are appropriate at this age. The baby will find the sounds produced to be quite intriguing. As she shakes it up, the resulting sound and music will have her occupied for quite a while.
The infant can also learn the skill of passing an object from one hand to the other by using rattles. Place one that is big enough in one hand; she will then alternate between the hands to hold the rattle. This is how she learns how to pass objects from hand to hand.
2. Manipulative Toys
Infants above six months love toys they can take apart and then put back together. These are what are called manipulative toys. Alternatively, babies this age love to dumb out toys from a container, refill (put them back), and then repeat the process all over again.
Provide your infant with such experiences by getting him stacking and nesting cups. Additionally, you could get him soft toys with an ability to be disassembled and then re-attached. As such, your baby would be developing problem-solving skills as well as fine motor skills.
3. Teething Rings
As your baby plays with the rattles, you might notice that she gnaws onto them. This is a perfect indication that teething has started taking place. When such a time comes, she will need a firm rubber gnawing ring to relieve the sore gums.
For a quicker relief when teething is taking place, you could have the teethers stored in a refrigerator. In this way, she can get a cold relief when she needs it. Use a refrigerator and not a freezer as the extreme cold provided by the freezers could hurt your baby’s delicate gums.
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4. Stationary Activity Centers
At about six months, an infant should have learned how to sit on her own. When in a seated position, the baby is then able to have a newer perspective on her surroundings. She then takes charge of the things that go on around her.
How about you make those sitting sessions more fun and development oriented? A stationary activity center helps you achieve this. Once settled in well at her “throne,” add toys that can be spun, rattled and poked without posing the risk of choking or strangulation.
Additionally, ensure the activity center does not bounce or roll when the baby is in it. She might become too excited and topple or roll into the over-hanging toys.
For the best results, let your baby take the activity centers for a test before you buy one. You will then be in a position to buy the one that the baby seems most thrilled about.
5. Play Gyms
Apart from an activity center, your growing infant will need a play gym to further aid in her motor skills development milestones. For slightly younger infants, watching the hanging toys will provide enough fun as they work to improve their eyesight.
Once she picks out her favorite toy, she would occasionally follow its movements with her eyes from side to side. After she has learned to coordinate her hands and feet, you will notice her batting the dangling toys during play time.
A play gym comes in handy during tummy time as you work to help her develop her abdominal, arms and neck muscles. The gym provides the impetus to stay on her tummy in preparation for crawling and talking.
6. Push and Walking Toys
At ten months old, your infant is now starting to pull herself into the standing and walking position. She should be using the couch and coffee tables as aides for standing and walking. This age is now the perfect time to introduce push and walk toys as substitute aides.
Choose a push toy (not a pull toy) that is slightly heavy so that the baby can lean on it while taking laps in the living room. Walkers could include strollers and shopping carts that can be used in the long run.
For more versatility and longevity, look for toys that can convert to “ride on toys” and passed to a brother or sister in later years.
After the infant has grown accustomed to spending time on her tummy, she would begin to crawl about in the house. And to provide the needed motivation to practice her new-found skill, a ball provides just that.
Infants love to roll back and forth as they fetch the ball as you the parent move the ball around. More crawling and rolling as she tries to locate and find the ball leads to the baby having finer motor skills and develops more physically.
8. Stuffed Animals
When it comes to having best friends and “lovees,” nothing cuts it with infants more than stuffed animals. It is common to find kids and babies dragging, hugging, cuddling and sleeping with their friends.
These “animals” teach infants the skill of socialization which is critical for all-round development. The toys could be dolls, toys and even hand puppets. I am sure no kid can resist songs and chat sessions while you are wearing a hand puppet.
With stuffed animals, ensure they are soft and fluffy, the right size, and not used during sleep by the baby before they are more than six months old.
What are the appropriate toys for infants? There you have it; some of the toy ideas I think would be perfect for your growing infant. As preferences are always different, do not worry if your baby does not fall in love with any of these. You never know, she may even change her mind tomorrow and start “feeding” that stuffed animal she had declined yesterday.
Author Bio: My name is Kristi and I’m the mother of 3 beautiful angels, founder of Intelligentmother.com. This blog was created in order to share experiences baby care, health care for pregnant women. You can find many interesting insights. Problems – Solved!