We may think babies don't do much for their first few weeks of life, but they are already busy taking in their environment.
Best toys for babies
Providing babies with opportunities for play helps stimulate their brains and builds the beginning of a strong bond between you and your child. They can definitely benefit from the right toys, particularly those that can engage their five senses. These toys include mobiles, rattles, balls, and cups, as well as objects like books and mirrors.
An activity mat gives your baby plenty of clean and comfy space to do sensory play. He can also start practicing tummy time to strengthen his neck, shoulders, arms, and trunk (and to balance out the fact that he is on his back most of the day). Pediatric occupational therapist Rachel Coley tells The Bump that you can start tummy time at 3 or 4 months old and do so only when your baby is wide awake.
With your baby is lying on his back, a mobile will provide him something stimulating through shapes, sounds, and textures. You may also try attaching it to the side of baby’s crib since babies usually like turning their heads toward one side.
Colorful plastic rings can help your little one practice grasping objects in his hands and can also be used to start familiarizing him with colors and sizes.
Babies have a lot of fun looking at themselves in the mirror as they see their reflections echo the facial expressions and actions they are doing. You can also make use of mirrors for playtime with your baby by sitting with him in front of a mirror and making funny faces at him. This will guarantee lots of laughs out of him!
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The Bump writes that though babies don’t usually start teething until they are about 6 months old, they may already begin to experiencing gum pain earlier than that. Teething toys can help ease your baby’s discomfort, particularly ones made of plastic or rubber, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Aside from letting baby practice his hand grip and arm strength, rattles are also very fascinating for babies because they make sounds whenever they are moved. Look out for that priceless expression on your little one’s face when he discovers what happens when he shakes his rattles around!
These are a classic addition to any kid’s toy collection, not only because they’re adorable but also because they can help stimulate a child’s sense of touch and provide them a sense of comfort. Parents are advised to provide their babies with stuffed toys that have lots of different textures, and which have sewn-in features instead of ones attached using strings or wires. Plus, just think about how much cuter your little one will look with a stuffed bear in tow!
Obviously, you won’t be able to kick and throw balls with your baby yet, but it helps stimulate his sense of touch. Later, when he is able to crawl, you can roll a ball and encourage him to follow it, and when he is able to sit up by himself, you can practice rolling and then tossing the ball back and forth.
One fun game that you can do with your baby using cups is putting little objects under the cups then lifting the cups up to reveal what’s in there. This simple game will help teach your little one the concept of object permanence, aside from the classic peek-a-boo.
He won’t be able to appreciate books yet, but that doesn’t mean he won’t benefit from you reading books to him. Board books with big, colorful pictures can help engage him, even for a short amount of time. Later, you can give him the freedom to toss, throw, or bite the book as much as he wants.