Here are two lists of what do you really need
First be sure your little one is nor over exposed
You don’t really need many baby toys! They’ve been inside for 9 months, in a really small space, with very little light. Every minute that they are now on the outside they are being exposed to new experiences. New sights, new smells, new feelings – every thing is new and everything stimulates them. You don’t need to add much more stimulation.
With our first child we bought tons of baby toys. We stocked up on hundreds of soft toys, teddy bears, mobiles, rattles, blocks, gentle noise makers and soft plastic toys. Most of these toys went into the toy box at the end of his cot and have remained there unused except for the occasional discovery. I am now set on giving them away.
The problem however is there are so many wonderful things that you know your baby will just love.
So I am going to briefly touch on this topic. I’ve curtailed myself to 10 and it has been really hard.
Baby Toys for Early On
1. Swing Seat
We have a great swing seat which survived two kids and still works. It had lights and music and could rock the kids gently.
I am no expert on swing seats / bouncy chairs as ours was gifted to us for our baby shower but there are two absolutely important requirements. You must make sure your seat has:
- Straps – once your baby is agile enough they will try throw themselves out of the chair.
- A robust frame that can hold enough weight as your child moves in it.
2. Play mat
Some people use a pillow but the idea is the same. You want to allow your baby to move around in a safe space. This allows your baby to work on their tummy muscles and all the little muscles that need strengthening in order to get moving. I would go with one that:
- Isn’t over-stimulating.
- Has raised sides so they can’t roll out of it but that’s just me.
Both of the below I found on www.Amazon.co.uk
3. Comforter or Snuggle Toy
I found this to be a MUST! We learnt this with the first child who couldn’t sleep without being attached to us.
What you want and need is a small cuddly, comforting soft toy that you can put next to your child as they fall asleep so it becomes a security for them. This will begin to smell like you and them and they will develop an attachment to it to the extent that they will want to sleep with it in the future.
This will translate to them not expecting you to sleep with them.
4. The old school Rattle
The key with a rattle is to make sure that it is not made out of hard plastic.
There is no doubt that once your baby gets into the swing of things and discovers that it makes noise – they will hit themselves with it.
5. Wrap around soft toy
For the pram or the cot rail you can get a fabric wrap around soft toy. As an aside we bought a neutral coloured pram (in case we had girl after the boy) and then used this toy and the blankets to gender stereotype the pram.
6. Books, books and more books
I am a sucker for books. There are countless advantages to reading to your child and I won’t go into them but I will draw your attention to the different types of books you can buy.
- Bath books but be careful your children if they are like mine will think that means that any book can and should go in the bath.
- Fabric books (excellent idea – they can’t be torn)
- Board books. These are great for the early stages and then the stages after 1 year but awful for the in-between when they want to pull and grab at them.
7. The softest ball you can find
A soft ball is great for tactile development, gross motor skills and also to incentivise crawling 🙂 We had a great little one with a rattle inside which made the sweetest jingling noise.
Most toys will only really become useful when your baby is able to sit by themselves or are crawling. Having said that toys are great motivators for crawling 🙂 Bribery and corruption in play already 🙂
Baby Toys for later
1. A teether
Maybe for later days but it is nice to get a variety of them and its easier to get a variety if you start looking out for them now. There are some great teethers on the market now that you can stick in the freezer and the gel inside them freezers – perfect for sore little gums.
Just make sure that whatever is encapsulating the gel is bite proof – silly to have to check but check nevertheless.
What I would get and I looked at it for ages is a little sophie the giraffe that would fit on my keys but I could never find one.
2. A Bumbo
This is excellent for sitting and for some reason they keep sitting in it for months to come – even if they can’t fit it in at first due to fat thighs 🙂
I’m not going to tell you which one of our babies had this problem. This is the exact one that we have.
3. Walking Frame
A walking frame – think of it as a zimmerframe for babies.
The picture below is the one we have and have had from our first child’s pre-walking days and our 18 month still uses it when our older son takes his scooter out. The one we have is a Fischer Price one which I think can be bought internationally.
Turns out this post is a bit long. Sorry about that!
I really hadn’t expected it to be but I just got carried away which is what I am sure you will do when you start buying. Fun times.
If you’re pregnant – Congratulations!
If you’re pregnant and stuck not knowing what to buy – look through the posts in this series I am sure it will help.