As a newborn, your baby might not show too much interest in baby toys, no matter how bright or noisy they may be, but fast forward a couple of weeks and they definitely will. As your baby becomes more alert, they’ll start to engage in their environment and enjoy looking at bright or high-contrast colours, and listening to music.
How can baby toys help my baby's cognitive and physical development?
Of course, these toys aren’t just designed to look cute, they’ll help your baby’s development in a number of different ways:
- Developing sense of touch: The soft, cuddly toys designed for newborns will often be a lovely texture, that your baby will enjoy reaching out and touching.
- Developing listening skills: From around two-months-old, you’ll notice your baby will enjoy playing with soft rattles. It’s also a good idea to calm a grumbly baby with a cot mobile.
- Tummy time: From around three to four months, your baby will begin trying to grasp things around them. As their strength increases, encourage them to try and lift their heads during tummy time. Now is a good time to introduce a play mat, with plenty of different toys for your baby to engage with.
- Developing cause-and-effect: By around five-months-old, your baby will be starting to learn about cause-and-effect – if I hit this, it will make a noise, if I push this, it will move. Now is a good time to introduce musical toys.
- Developing hand-eye coordination: This develops at around six months old, so toys that involve your baby putting one object on or in another are great.
- Developing social skills: From around seven-months-old, your baby will start enjoying social interaction more. To help develop skills and ease any separation anxiety, use peek-a-boo toys that reassure your little one that even though something disappears, it comes back.
The best baby toys list 2020:
To help you work out which baby toys are the best to buy, we’ve summed up our top picks:
If there’s one thing on your mind in those first few months with a newborn, it’s sleep! Luckily, there’s plenty of baby toys designed to help this. Ollie the Owl can be used from birth and is a soft toy, with four different in-built tunes, a nightlight and a cry sensor, which plays music to your baby if they wake during the night. It’s a lifesaver – not only does it look adorable, it’s very huggable and soothes even the most restless baby.
A great little all-rounder, Philip the Pelican has a number of different features that make him a best buy. With multiple colours and patterns for visual development, textures for tactile development, a peek-a-boo mirror for facial recognition and an opening beak aiding cause and effect learning, Philip also has a handy hook, making him great for clipping to the car seat or pushchair on the move. He’s safe from birth and will keep your baby entertained for months.
This soft, adorable Bunny Soother is perfect for your newborn baby. It’s a light colour whilst their eyes are still developing, and is made from a lovely tactile fabric for your baby to develop their senses. It’s suitable from birth, and strong enough to survive the test of time as your baby’s best friend.
These bright little musical rings will keep your baby entertained for hours, both at home and on the go. They are colourful and chunky, with each ring providing different sounds and textures for your baby to engage with. Easy for little hands to hold, the musical rings are suitable from three-months-old. Our panel of mum testers also found the rings to be super durable, withstanding the inevitable falls from the highchair!
As always with toys from Lamaze, this is far more than just a rattle! Freddie the Firefly is full of surprising features your baby will love, with his soft fabric head, with ribbon fillers, his colourful rotating wings and a see-through pod your baby can gaze at. The high-contract patterns are also perfect for developing your little one’s vision.
It might be more expensive than other mobiles on the market, but will last your baby until they are three-years-old. It has three different musical categories – nature, classic or lullabies, and nine different tunes and rotating characters on the ceiling. Once your baby outgrows the hanging toys, it converts into a music box and projector, then a bedside lamp with starry night projector. It’s super soothing, and in our opinion, worth the price tag.
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