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  • Whether you don’t have kids of your own yet, or maybe your own children can only be considered as babies in your heart, it can be a little challenging to choose a good baby toy as a baby shower present.  This venture is made even more daunting with the plethora of toys that are available in the toy store shelves.  Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind in picking the baby’s first toys at the next baby shower: 
    Sharp Contrasts vs. Pretty
    Sure, your eye may be drawn to the cute, pink stuffed pig.  Or you think that the pastel-colored mobile will go well with the crib sheet set that the mommy-to-be already has.  However, before you walk to the register with these playthings in dreamy colors, it would be worth noting that a newborn doesn’t have fully-developed vision. As such, it may be a little difficult for them to differentiate toys (or pictures) with very subtle color and pattern differences. This translates to possibly little interest and engagement in the light blue sock puppets that you were positive he’d love.  Instead, many parenting references recommend toys that have high contrasts and patterns on them.  Baby mobiles, rattles, and soft blocks in black and white patterns would most probably grab the newborn’s attention more until he gets a little older (around five months) and their retinas develop more completely. You don’t need to limit yourself to black and white though. Just think of highly contrasting colors that can be visually stimulating for a newborn.
    No Small Parts for Small Ones, Please!
    This should probably be obvious, but is worth noting just the same.  Babies love to discover their world through their hands and mouths.  This is normal and the best way to help them along their exploration is to ensure that the items that they play with are safe.  Many toy makers are more stringent with what they make for young ones three and under, but it still pays to be vigilant.  Make sure that the toy has no small parts that could be removed and cause a baby to choke. 
    Learning Cause and Effect Early
    “Cause and Effect” is probably one of the first things that a baby will learn.  If he cries, he gets attention and will be fed/changed/showered with affection and so on.  There are toys available out in the market that encourage this connection.  You can find rattles that can be strapped around the baby’s wrists and ankles.  The look on their faces when they realize that it’s their movement that’s causing the tinkling sound is priceless!  Baby-safe mirrors can also keep a baby riveted for a few minutes.  As they get older, babies begin to enjoy sorting, stacking, and probably the best part, breaking the stacked blocks apart. 
    So, next time you go to a baby shower, just keep these baby toy guidelines in mind. Your gift is sure to be a hit with the newborn baby.

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