Choosing Appropriate Toys For Babies Of Different Ages

Adults need to use caution when purchasing toys for infants and babies. They need to make certain that these toys are safe and age appropriate.

Walk into any discount or variety store and probably one of the first sights you will see will be toys of all sizes and shapes, toy hanging from the ceiling, and toys filling the shelves. With such a large selection, there shouldn't be any problem choosing toys for your infant or toddler, right? Well, you might be surprised how many people buy toys for young children that are simply not appropriate for their age.

Today, most toys have age limits printed right on the box to help you decide. This is a good idea, but there are some other points you need to consider when selecting a toy for your child or to give as a gift to someone else.

There are toys made specifically for infants, and while newborns may seem too young for toys, these toys are actually very important to a newborn's development. Because an infant's eye sight is still developing, you can stimulate that development with certain colors. Studies have shown that newborns respond to black, white, and red colors.

They also seem to be fascinated with faces. Of course, their parents' faces are extremely interesting, but there are books and toys that have black, white, and red faces, too. These are great gifts for newborns. Because an infant's eyesight is still developing, they can't see objects very far away. You will need to place the book or toy close to the baby at approximately six inches or so. Baby mirrors are also wonderful gifts. Babies love to look at themselves!

As an infant grows, his line of vision becomes stronger, and he also begins to notice other colors. Brightly colored toys and books continue to stimulate him. Newborns and infants love colorful mobiles that hang over the crib.

Because everything in their world is new and interesting, infants need to have the rest of their senses stimulated, also. Musical toys make great gifts as long as the music isn't too loud. Lullaby tunes can soothe a fussy infant, and happy songs can encourage those first smiles.



In order to encourage a baby's hand and eye coordination, toys that can be held and manipulated are great gifts. Soft, cloth or rubber books, rattles, balls, stuffed animals, toy keys, blocks, stacking rings, and plastic links are all great gifts.

As a baby becomes able to pick up and grab objects, caution and age appropriateness become extremely important when selecting toys. The first instinct of a baby is to take whatever is in his hand and transfer it to his mouth. Because some toys pose possible choking hazards, it is extremely important to inspect any toy before giving it to a child. Just because the age specified is correct doesn't necessarily mean the toy is safe. Toys are recalled at a sometimes alarming rate, and many times these recalls occur after a child has already been injured.

If you are giving the child a small toy, be sure that the toy is too large for the baby to swallow. It should not have small parts that can be dislodged and swallowed either. Even soft, cuddly stuffed animals can pose problems. They might have eyes or noses that can be pulled off and eaten.

Activity centers can also be great gifts. Many times they are convertible. They may be used in one position for smaller babies, and then turned into another position as babies continue to grow.

Once a baby becomes a toddler, the selection of toys continues to grow. Pull toys and walk-behind toys are great gifts. You still need to pay attention to the age printed on the box, however. Toys that are musical and toys that show numbers and colors are not only entertaining but also educational.

No matter what type of toy you buy, however, spending time with your child is the best investment. Babies love to be played with and love spending one on one time with you and all of their favorite toys.

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