You would have heard of parents buying fancy new toys for their children, only for their little ones to prefer the carton boxes that the toys came in. Or toddlers opting to play with the household broom and random wooden bowl from the kitchen rather than their pricey new Pikler triangle or Montessori toys.
As children are curious about the world around them, everything and anything can be considered a toy. When choosing toys for a baby, it is important to consider their age and their developmental milestones. Different developmental stages mean different skills, which means different ways of interacting with, and enjoying a toy.
Toys for babies from birth to 2 months
For a baby’s first two months of life, they spend a lot of time watching and listening to people around them. This is a crucial time for their emotional development, and interaction with your baby is more important than any toy. It could be as simple as playing ‘peek-a-boo’, reading, singing, and talking to your baby.
As they are starting to learn about the world through their senses, some of the best toys at this stage would be those with contrasting colours, soft sounds and different textures.
1) High contrast black and white cards & board books
Shop high contrast board books here.
2) Cloth books with textures and crinkly sounds
Shop Jellycat cloth books here.
3) Mobiles for cots or bassinets
Shop Pehr cot mobiles here.
Toys for babies from 2 to 4 months
This is the time when babies start discovering their hands. They’ll start grasping, holding and shaking things and it is the start of their gross motor skills development.
4) Baby activity gym
Shop Doomoo play gym here.
Shop Lovevery play gym here.
5) Baby rattles: Wooden rattles, cloth rattles, plastic rattles
Shop Jellycat rattles here
Shop Sassybaby rattles here.
6) Baby mirror toy for tummy time
Shop baby mirror toys here.
Toys for babies from 4 to 6 months
This is the time when babies do a lot of exploring with their mouths, so you’ll want to keep choking hazards like tiny toys, marbles, magnets or any other small objects out of his reach. They’ll also now have more control of their heads, hands and legs. They’re able to roll over, push themselves onto their arms and even kick at an object.
7) Baby playmat for tummy time
Shop Lollibly playmats here.
8) Stuffed plushies & cuddle toys
Shop Jellycat plushies here.
Shop Cho pillows here.
9) Soft fabric balls to grasp and roll around
Shop IKEA ball toy here
Shop Manhatten Toys Bababall here.
10) Baby tissue box toy or just a real tissue box
Shop Taf Toys Tissue Box here.
Toys for babies from 6 to 12 months
During this phase, most babies have learned to crawl and to walk. They’ll pull themselves to a stand and hold on to furniture. At this age, they’ll also begin to experiment with problem solving and cause and effect. They’ll need durable, safe toys that they can explore with all of their senses.
11) Pull-along toys that come in cute animal designs
Shop pull toys here.
12) Basic shape sorter toys
Shop shape sorter toys here.