Congratulations on your new baby! It is a big change in your world, especially if you are bringing home a baby for the first time.
The first few weeks your baby will spend most of the time sleeping. As the days and weeks progress, your baby will start demonstrating more times of alertness.
This is a good time to interact with your infant via high contrast toys that stimulate the senses.
Around 3 months of age, your baby will begin to emerge from their sleepy cocoon. Your little one will start waking up and engaging with the surrounding world.
While your child’s best interaction is with you, there are many toys that will enhance your baby’s awareness of this big, new world.
I am going to focus on these four categories of toys for 0-6 month olds. I will mention a few types of toys within each category that you can try with your baby.
- Tummy Time
Toys for Tummy Time
It is safest for babies to sleep on their back, but that doesn’t help them strengthen their head, neck and upper body muscles.
It is recommended that starting at about 3 months of age that babies spend at least 20-30 minutes a day on their tummies.
Neither one of my children were fans of tummy time because it is hard work.
Bright, colorful toys helped keep them engaged and occupied so they weren’t so focused on being in an unfavorable position.
- Activity Mats My children loved their activity mat because it had many different engaging features. Babies can look at, reach for and bat at the various mirrors, animal toys and teethers these mats often include.
- Blocks There are a variety of musical and colorful blocks that babies can look at and listen to while laying on their tummies.
- Mirrors Babies are mesmerized by looking at their reflection in a mirror while laying on their tummies. Depending on how you position the mirror, It can help them keep their necks up which will help strengthen them more.
- Pillows Prop your baby’s chest up on the pillow aid in tummy strengthening as well as back and neck extension.
Toys for travel
Traveling with babies can be quite daunting. My son would often bawl and bawl and having a toy to entertain him was a life saver on more than one occasion.
- Small musical toys Music is always a great way to help distract babies and take their minds off the fact that they are in a car seat. There is a variety of toys that play little tunes when baby activates them by touch.
- Car Seat and Stroller Attachments There are quite a selection of toys that attach to car seats and strollers. These are usually colorful toys that babies can look at and even interact with.
- Plush toys Let’s face it! Traveling can be stressful. A soft toy to hold can comfort your little one and help them relax. A relaxed baby means relaxed parents, too.
Toys for soothing
When babies are fussy or tired, toys to help soothe them can make life easier for them and you. When a baby can be soothed, it helps everyone relax and feel better.
- Pacifiers Although neither one of my children were fans of pacifiers, my daughter occasionally used the WubbaNub Pacifier. It is a pacifier attached to a small stuffed animal that is easy for babies to hold on to. It is also easier to be found when it is lost than a regular pacifier.
- Soothing Mittens If babies are in pain due to teething, put a soothing mitten on their hand and let them suck on it to ease their discomfort.
- Mobiles Babies who have a difficult time falling asleep might benefit from a mobile they can look at. The gentle swaying of the colorful hanging toys can help your child drift off peacefully.
- Musical Toys Another suggestion for helping your baby get to sleep is a toy that plays lullabies. My daughter still loves to fall asleep next to her elephant that chimes a sweet lullaby.
Toys for learning
Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly. Look for baby toys for 0-6 month olds that stimulate your baby’s sense of touch, taste, sight and hearing because they enhance cognitive development.
- Rattles For many years, rattles have been used to stimulate and entertain babies. There are a plethora of rattles in all shapes, sizes and colors. Many of them make sounds or light up which is good for helping develop your baby’s sense of sight and hearing.
- Activity gyms and mats These toys not only engage your baby during tummy time, they also help your child cognitively. The music, movement and colors of the hanging toys on these mats are great for stimulating babies.
- Mobiles These crib partners are not only great for helping your baby fall asleep, they also provide the opportunity for your child to develop his brain via the colors, patterns and movement.
Learn, grow and flourish!
It is no question that toys play an important role in babies overall development.
Investing in toys that enhance physical and cognitive development will ensure your infant gets off to a very healthy start.
There are lots of baby toys for 0-6 month olds to choose from.
The toys mentioned in this article are highly recommended because either they were beneficial to my children when they were infants or I have seen them help other children.
Both of my children have their own unique personality and preferences. What worked with my son didn’t always work with my daughter, but I tried different toys until I found the right fit.
Most of the toys mentioned fit in more than one category.
Plush toys, for example, can fit in all four categories. They are great motivation during tummy time, they provide comfort during travel, help soothe your child and provide stimulation through touch. No wonder plush toys are so popular!
Remember to play and interact with your baby every day.
Did you know that even you can be a toy to your child? That’s right! They love to look at your face more than anything else. Getting down on their level will ensure they can see and interact with you.
May your child learn, grow and flourish with your help!