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Toys for Birth to 12 Months

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Toys for Birth to 12 Months Buying Guide

Toys for Babies

A lot can happen in a year, especially with a new baby in the family. So let's take the first year in chunks. Your baby is learning from the very start. Around two months old she'll start to take an interest in funny faces and peek-a-boo games. By four months she'll be playing with her fingers.

By six months, your baby will take an active interest in the world. Falling objects will fascinate her and you can look forward to picking up all the things she drops on purpose! Things really pick up after that. She'll be able to sit up by seven months and start crawling soon after.

As babies begin to sit up and grasp objects, playthings need to be safe to touch, taste and smell. By the end of the first year she'll be able to pick up small objects, understand simple commands and take off her shoes.

The First 3 Months

Growing Developments

  • Your baby's eyes are moving in unison at this stage, but she can only focus on nearby objects.
  • Your baby's skin is very sensitive
  • Your baby's movements are large and uncontrolled
  • Your baby uses her entire hand to grasp but lacks sufficient strength to hold items
  • She uses her upper body, waves arms, reaches for objects and holds hands above face
  • Your baby is naturally attracted to the sounds, tones and rhythms of the human voice
  • By three months old, she can distinguish several hundred spoken sounds

Guide to Toys

  • Position toys nine to twelve inches from your baby's eyes
  • Choose high contrast black, white and primary color patterns to attract baby's interest
  • Look for toys with various sounds, textures and motion encourage interaction
  • Toys should not have small, loose parts that could be swallowed

Four to Seven Months

Growing Developments

  • Your baby is able to roll over from her back or stomach
  • She may drool and have agitated gums as her first teeth start growing in
  • Her sucking reflex is voluntary
  • Your baby picks up objects with her thumb and fingers
  • She sits without support and can get into a crawling position
  • Baby plays 'peek-a-boo' games

Guide to Toys

  • Look for teething toys and play mats
  • Choose toys that are safe to taste, touch, shake and toss
  • Look for toys with various sounds, textures and motion encourage interaction
  • Toys should not have small, loose parts that could be swallowed

Top Toys for Babies

Top Brands for Birth to Seven Months

Best Play Value Toys for Birth to Seven Months

  • Hanging Mobiles
  • Soft Baby Toys
  • Teething Toys like Sophie the Giraffe
  • Baby Activity Toys

  • Lamaze
  • Amazing Baby Toys
  • Dandelion Toys
  • Alex Jr. Toys
  • Eebee's Adventures
  • IQ Baby
  • Infantino Toys

Eight to Twelve Months

Growing Developments

  • Your baby can stands while leaning on furniture for support
  • She can crawl on floor and up stairs
  • Your baby uses both eyes in unison and can see distant objects 13 to 20 feet away
  • She is able to imitate simple actions like hitting a drum
  • Your baby can grasp, manipulate and transfer small objects from hand to hand
  • She can stack and nest objects
  • By twelve months, she can walk with adult support and may be able to walk alone

Guide to Toys

  • Look for toys that assist in walking
  • Toys with various sounds, textures and motions attract encourage interaction
  • Find simple bath toys that make tub time fun and useful
  • Babies can carry washable soft dolls and plush toys
  • Toys should be chunky—easy to grasp and hold

Best Play Value Toys for Ages Eight to Twelve Months

  • Toddler Ride On Toys
  • Baby and Toddler Bath Toys
  • Stacking and Sorting Toys
  • Baby and Toddler Musical Toys
  • Baby and Toddler Books

Top Brands for Ages Eight to Twelve Months

  • Early Learning Centre Toys
  • Alex Junior Baby Toys
  • P'kolino
  • Gbaby Blocks Sets

Top Toys for Six Month Old Babies

Ways to Play

Babies learn best through play that is simple and repetitive. Games like peek-a-boo, with a back and forth exchanges are fun for her. Until your baby is two months old, play will remain fairly simple. Try holding her nine to twelve inches from your face while moving your head and making funny faces to help her vision develop.

Your baby's brain is being flooded with stimulation all of the time so she'll tire easily during the first year. One minute you could both be happily playing and the next she could be fussing or falling asleep. Remember to give her lots of breaks when she loses interest. Sometimes even making eye contact with another person will tire her out. Try holding her head to her chest and gently rocking her while she takes a break. She'll be ready to play again as soon as she starts looking around or making happy sounds.

Talking to your baby throughout the day will help her to acquire language and stay engaged. You can encourage her coos and giggles by responding as if the two of you are having a conversation! This sort of simple, back and forth "dialog" will strengthen the bond between you.

When your baby is around six months old, you can help her memory by pointing out familiar people and things wherever you go. Let her spend lots of time playing on the floor. Unstructured play is just as important for her developments as play together. Offer her simple toys to develop her grasp and place toys just out of her reach so she'll have to move to get them. By this point she's able to distinguish several hundred words. Spend time reading together and point out lots things in the pictures that are interesting or familiar.

Luckily, the most important thing you can do to stimulate your baby's development is also the easiest. Give her lots of love, kisses and attention! Showering your baby with affection will keep her feeling safe and secure. You can make everyday tasks like changing, feeding and bathing into play by singing songs, making faces and responding to her coos and gurgles!