Best Toys For a Baby
When a new baby arrives you want to ensure you have everything they need to develop as best they can. As well as the obvious clothes and sleeping equipment, you will find the shop shelves full of toys for babies; soft rattles, crunchy footed teddy bears, books made of fabric, primary colours shouting from every shelf. It’s hard to know what to get!
What Can Babies Actually See?
It is useful to know that for the first weeks of a babies life they can’t actually see in the way that we do. A baby’s retina isn’t fully formed at birth and as such they can only make out contrasts, not colours or shapes.
The best way to stimulate a baby’s senses is with black and white. The blues and pinks every popular for babies may look great but they won’t stimulate your baby at play in the first weeks of life.
Do New Babies Actually Need Toys?
In short: no, not really. Not in the same way that an older baby does. The best toy for a new baby is … Your face. Faces are fascinating to babies and will do more for bonding and development than any shop-bought toy.
What Toys Are Stimulating for new Babies?
- Use cot sheets and soft toys which are striped – these will allow your baby to be visually stimulated when in their cot environment in the very early days
- At ‘play time’, choose a time when your baby is awake and alert and hold a black and white stripe book about ten inches from their face. You will notice they become transfixed by this, and as they get older will start to reach and experience the touch and feel of this toy also.
- For the next stage toys, when newborns are a few weeks older you can go for traditional rattles and teddies, but again keep the colours bold and contrasting. Even after a baby can start to see better, the contrast will still stimulate them better than pastels.