If you are thinking of getting a toy for your or someone’s newborn baby, here are some of the tips, recommendations and price guide that are worth checking out (by the way, congratulations!)…
From 1 To 3 Months
From 1 to 3 months, your child is learning to live in his surroundings. He will smile, raise his head, follow objects with his eyes and begin gripping. He may even try to grasp dangling objects and raise his hands to his mouth. A baby gym (like the one from Fisher-Price) is an excellent toy purchase for all of those reasons. Also do note that newborns cannot see low contrast objects which are much more than about a foot away so make sure to include bright colors when you are shopping for toys for them!
A set of plastic links is extremely affordable (like the one from Bright Starts) and can be added to your baby gym. They can also be used independently to drive fine motor skill development. Both the baby gym and inexpensive plastic links are a great toy choice for your newborn baby, and are relevant past your child’s first year.
From 4 To 6 Months Onwards
From 4 to 6 months babies are trying to manipulate things that they see. They are learning to use their hands and are becoming aware of their own voices. Babies will roll over from front to back, and babble incessantly. They will laugh spontaneously, sit up when supported and reach out to grab objects (like your hair).
Purchasing a rattle will help promote and improve all of these behaviors. (Just be sure to confirm that the toy is free of dangerous BPA, PVC, latex and phthalates.). A rattle is inexpensive and can be found conveniently online at multiple Internet retail outlets.
Soft, cloth blocks as opposed to wooden or plastic ones are great purchases for newborns. Even after they are a year old they will still squeeze, stack and play with them. Some cloth blocks even include bells and other sound making objects. Buy sets that come with numbers and/or letters so as your baby grows they can pick up these important lessons.
Lastly, any small rattle balls are also great for the newborn as well as the older child. There are many excellent sets which have several balls that produce different sounds. This helps your child learn to discriminate between them, promoting sound localization, visual tracking and once again, fine motor skill development.