Where to start on the right selection of toys for babies first year?(28 Posts)
I'm in the 37 weeks and killing time surfing phase of my first pregnancy - thrilled!
It would be ace if I could get some advice on toys for the first year... It's such a minefield, it really puts me off when I feel like I'm falling into being "advertised" to and am hoping to keep things simple really and not go OTT but cover the development side of things...
So far I've just purchased a few of the natural Sophie La Giraffe toys/teethers....
honestly? Wait and see what they like and what you are given!
Sophie is a teether more than a toy, I think, but things with interesting textures and noises are often popular. But it's never the toy you think might be popular IYSWIM, and one baby might love a loud squeaky noise, another will hate it.
Of the ones our kids liked, there was a jellycat animal, one of those textural books: one likes the scrunchy page another liked the bit where you pulled on a ring attached to an stretchy bit. One had a book she liked to wave around.
All three loved the bouncer- especially the oldest one who used take her little Sister out, put her on the floor and then start rocking herself!
Best thing for my dd was a leather purse with a shaving brush, a toothbrush, a wooden ball, metal teaspoon etc. all baby toys are plastic or fabric, babies need to feel different textures too (think this advice came from a Montessori website)
No fancy toys here either tbh lots of radom.things from the kitchen and garden - pots and pans, utensils, paint brushes, empty pop bottles (or with rice in and lid selotaped on), crunchy and foil paper etc just things we have to hand. Now the next few yrs things are more for toy buying and things like ride on cars, walker, cooker, tea sets, swing, sandpit, wheelbarrow, sledges etc have been very popular. We started buying these thingamajig during the first yr to spread the cost out.
I wouldn't worry too much just yet - as a pp said, just wait a little and see what they like. Mine really like Lamaze toys - Freddie the fire fly etc, all crunchy and lots of textures.
One of the biggest hits was a box of bits and bobs like wooden spoons, material, water bottles filled with dried rice!!
I tend to buy as I go with my DH, I find that's the easiest way to fill her developmental needs on a stage by stage basis.
Best of luck and congratulations
I agree you'll likely get some toys as presents.
My 7mo currently loves rattles, Freddie the firefly, books with lift up flaps, the vtech crawl ball and bath squirters.
I was going to say Lamaze toys too, she liked all the different textures. Also those rain sticks with all the beads in that sound like the rain. She wasn't really into toys until she was a bit older though. Good luck!
Lamaze toys and a playmat with dangling toys. They don't really play as such when they are tiny.
-Lamaze toy for buggy
- any dangly playmat so you can park them on their backs before they can sit up
- £3 plastic stacky cups from sainsburys, good for bathing, making towers, bashing together (they have holes in for bathtime waterfalls and so babies can't suffocate)
- some 'that's not my' books (or just get them from the library)
I would wait until baby is a couple of months old before you buy these - you'll inevitably get presents from people and baby won't need any toys until a few months old.
We have been very conscious of not buying too much. The biggest toys dd has are vtech toot toot ones but she loses interest in those very quickly. I definitely agree about random objects. She's had hours of fun with plastic bottles and watering cans etc and now she's a bit older she's favouring basic traditional toys over everything else. At 15 months her current favourite toy is the shape sorter house from ikea. I think it's about a fiver! Also the abacus too. But they were presents we haven't had to buy much for her. We got the baby gym, then Walker, then paddling pool, balls and play tunnel then push along trike.
Thanks so much guys for the feedback, it really helps with SO much choice!!
Cannot wait to meet her! X
Lamaze toys here too. Dd is 6 months and got some for Christmas and plays with them a lot, Freddie Fire fly, a Hippo one, Rhino and a Mermaid. We had a massive bag full that were ds's but we left them in the cellar when we moved and they went manky- I was gutted!!
Another vote for Lamaze toys but as others have said wait until she is here, see what you get as gifts and what sort of things catch her interest as she develops. Newborns couldn't give a stuff about toys and when they get to crawling stage they are only interested in things which aren't toys 😄
Agree with wait and see what you get. We got a lot of Lamaze toys which DD loves. For slightly older (6 months +) IKEA have some great bits, including the shape sorter already mentioned (my DD is also a big fan of that!).
Her favourite thing by quite a long way from around 8 months was a melon baller (no, I have no idea by I own a melon baller either), which I could never have predicted. Oh, she also has a particular shoe she likes to cuddle, and sometimes take to bed with her!
An exersaucer is a very useful larger toy for when they start crawling and you need them to stay in one place.
How could I forget the Jumparoo! My 6 month old loves it but it's big so probably wait to buy it.
Skip hop play gym really nice - arches are low so baby can reach the toys and each toy can be detatched and are individually nice. The mat has mirrors and textures for tummy time.
A sensory blanket with different textures and silky tabs has been a big hit.
Books like the v hungry caterpillar and series called That's not my... And a trio of books called Zoom Hoot and Roar, Spot lift the flap books. CDs of nursery rhymes.
Be wary of jumperoos and exersaucers. See Mama OT blog for explanation and also handy list of educational toys. Congratulations and good luck
Congratulations I did exactly the same before both the children were born.
These the items our friend who is a children's physiologist specializing in early education.
PLay Gym we loved the Fisherprice jungle one- Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, rolling, midline play on back or in sitting, reaching, grasping, hand-eye coordination, depth perception
Plastic Links I think we got there in ELC - Developmental skills encouraged: reaching, grasping, hand-eye coordination, oral exploration, oral discrimination, tactile exploration
Mirror we loved our lamaze one: Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, head control, social emotional skills, self-awareness.
Bath Toys little squishy ones ideally: Developmental skills encouraged: visual tracking, reaching, grasping, midline play, transferring between hands, banging together, oral exploration, oral discrimination, hand strengthening
Set of rattle balls:Developmental skills encouraged: reaching, grasping, midline play, transferring between hands, banging together, sound localization, sound discrimination, object permanence, visual tracking, joint attention, pointing when rolls away, crawling
Ball Drop toy we had a few the elephant one is brilliant. Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, grasping, reaching, releasing, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, midline play, transferring between hands, banging together, sound localization, visual tracking, sitting, standing, cruising, squatting, kneeling, walking
Board books - Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, midline play, sitting, reaching, visual scanning, turning pages, joint attention, pointing.
Soft, crinkly blocks again we loved our lamaze set - Developmental skills encouraged: midline play, tummy play, sitting, reaching, grasping, transferring between hands, releasing, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect, object permanence, oral exploration, sound localization, sound discrimination, depth perception
Ring stacker - Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, midline play, transferring between hands, banging together, reaching, grasping, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, cause and effect, beginning understanding of size
Play table with removable legs - Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, reaching, midline play, cause and effect, sitting, kneeling, standing, squatting, pulling to stand, cruising, turning pages
Approximate age relevant: 4-12 months and beyond
Baby tool bench - Developmental skills encouraged: tummy play, midline play, reaching, cause and effect, sitting, kneeling, sound discrimination
Approximate age relevant: 4-12 months and beyond
Push toy for sitting, standing, and walking - Developmental skills encouraged: sitting, reaching, cause and effect, kneeling, squatting, standing
these are what we started with for the first few months then added items as we needed them.
Loads of good stuff here, so I'll just say this - the age on the toy is a safety thing, NOT when your child should be into it. When DD was about 4 weeks old, I spent ages shoving things like Sophie le Giraffe (we got bought 5 of the sodding thing!) into her tiny disinterested little face, and worrying myself because she 1,000 yard stared straight through it all.
Now she's 4 months, she loves her play gym (current on offer at John Lewis), and any toys that flash and make loud noises.
Not a toy as such, but the other really useful thing we got is the baby bjorn soft bouncer. That comes with a clip on bar with toys on and she loves that - life saver for me having a shower etc!
Google black and white stimulation pictures - you can print them to put around the baby's cot/changing area. They get excited when they can focus on those, and they are free.
There is a reason why classic toys like stacking toys & stacking rings & that sort of thing are still around.
DS' favourite thing for several weeks was a box of Oxo cubes!
You will probably be inundated with presents, so I would wait and see what people give you. There is the added bonus that people who already have kids will probably choose something theirs kids enjoyed. DS especially loves a bottle of vanilla essence and the toilet roll atm so I wouldn't worry about a lack of entertainment of you don't have bucket loads of toys!
My DDs love the Manhattan toys, especially the skwish and winkle
I'd wait. DS1 didn't get into toys until he was over 12 months... But loved books from 6 months!
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