Baby Toys Buying Guide
With so many infant toys available on the market, you may find yourself wanting to buy as many of those fancy looking baby toys as you can. But what may look as cute and interesting may not be age-appropriate or dangerous for your newborn. Choosing wisely what baby toys to buy can save you money and help your baby’s developmental needs.
Your baby’s safety should be your top priority when buying her toys. Age-appropriate toys that do not have any small detachable parts are great first toys for your newborn. Even if you are attending to your baby, it only takes a second of your diverted attention for a potentially dangerous toy to harm your baby.
It is highly recommended to check for any warning labels and choking hazards before buying any toys. Kids age 3 and below are the most prone to choking so buying toys that are small enough to fit in your baby’s mouth are not worth buying.
Another thing to look out for are the materials used in making the baby toy. Toys made from hard plastics usually contain phthalates, a nasty chemical used as a plastic softener. Several studies have linked this toxic chemical to asthma, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, low IQ and other neurological and developmental deficiencies. Generally, it’s best to stay away from plastic toys and instead buy toys that are made from wood and other non-toxic materials.
Developmental Baby Toys
The best baby toys are the ones that help with your baby’s early development. Knowing your baby’s developmental stages is key in buying age-appropriate toys. For example, you do not want to stacking toys if your baby is still 1 month old. Instead you want something that stimulates their visual and auditory senses like a simple designed crib mobile with high-contrast colours that produce sounds.
When your baby starts to reach and grab, tactile toys such as soft cuddly dolls or wooden rattles are ideal especially if they feature different textures. This is also the best time to encourage tummy time and introduce teething toys. Tummy time helps strengthen your little one’s back, neck and shoulder muscles while teething toys can be soothing when your baby’s first teeth start cutting and she becomes orally fixated.
At around 6 months, your baby starts to learn about cause and effect. Activity centers and pram baby toys are particularly great in providing a wide range of activities and toys that your baby can explore. Stacking and nesting toys, soft balls they can throw and simple musical toys are good examples of toys that display the cause and effect relationship.
Baby Toys to Avoid
As a general rule, do not buy any baby toys without warning labels. Most likely, these toys were made from cheap and questionable materials and do not meet any standards on kids toys.
You should also avoid buying baby toys that are overly complicated because they might overwhelm your baby. Buy toys that feature a simple design and are easy to handle and explore.
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