Guide to Buying Baby Toys

Guide to Buying Baby Toys (0-12 months) This guide is designedto help parents make toy choices and to assist friends in buyingthe most appropriate toy for your baby. It is organised by baby ageas this provides the best overall guide. Remember also to use theage guide on the toy description and to ensure that the toy is froman established manufacturer who has designed to the latest EUsafety regulations. For hygienic reasons toys which will be handledneed to be washable.0-1month The newborn has limited senses and toys which providestimulation can be useful. Baby has very limited vision so toyswith strong contrasting colours and movement are suitable. Cotmobiles provide stimulation and brighten up the room. A simpleactivity gym on a floor mat also provides stimulation. Rattles arealways appreciated by baby.1-3 months Baby is now developing rapidly and will be startingto lift his/her head and finding the world looks different!Playmats/activity gyms provide reaching shapes which baby can startto “punch”. Rattles attached to foot socks are alsogreat for a good kick on the mat. These types of toys encourage thedevelopment of motor skills and hand to eye coordination. The useof texture is important and toys with multiple materials and soundsare appreciated by baby.3-6 months This is an exciting time as baby becomes moreinterested in the environment and his/her mouth! Baby will like topick up small toys (but not so small that they could be swallowed)and turn them over in his hand – before having a goodchew!Toys with sound will intrigue baby but remember that you willneed to live with the tune! Designs which incorporate a number ofdifferent parts or sections, like stacking blocks, providestimulation. Baby can be introduced to books – maybe bookswith animals which will give the Grandparents an opportunity topractice their farmyard sounds …or maybe not!6-9 months Baby may be sitting up by now and trying to crawl sotoys which encourage crawling are good. These are toys which canroll such as wooden balls or soft balls with textures. This is agood time to introduce books with nursery rhymes and hand movement,maybe with a CD to help with the singing!9-12 months Baby is on the move! Sitting and crawling is nowsecond nature and furniture walking is fun – if a little unstable.A 4 wheel trolley with a handle will encourage mobility. Baby isstarting to become independent and exercise choice of play toys.Choosing a particular toy from the box is part of development.Manual dexterity is important so a toy which may be picked up andthen opened or separated is fun. Baby will now enjoy musical toysand may have a special toy (make sure you have a backup special toyin case of loss).It should be noted that cuddly toys are more suited for olderchildren.Trevor Ginn is managing director at Hello Baby an online babyshop based in Bethnal Green, East London, UK. They sell a widerange of Toys and other baby products such as prams, pushchairs,nursery furniture and car seats. Trevor also writes a blog oneCommerce which can be found at