Buying The Right Toy for Your Infant

Babies actually need very few toys. In the first few months of life, your baby needs your love and attention for a healthy development and well-being. Newborns are actually more drawn to human faces than toys, thus they prefer people over toys. Cuddling, playing, touching and talking to your baby contributes to his/her earliest impressions of the world – that is safe and beautiful and that it’s okay to explore it without fear.

Naturally, babies are very curious because they are engaged in self-discovery. They get to know the world around them by using their senses – by looking, listening, chewing, smelling and grasping. A lot of what they’ll learn will come from playing. Thus, they need toys that appeal to all senses and stimulate their interest, yet are safe to play with.

Here is a toy safety check list to help you get the right toys for your baby:

  • The toy should be sanitary.
  • The toy should be washable.
  • The toy should not be to heavy for your child’s strength.
  • The toy should be well-made – no parts come off. The toy itself does not break easily, and thus prevent harmful things like wires from being exposed.
  • The toy should not have pointed or sharp edges that can cut or scratch.
  • The toy should no have tiny parts or decorations that can come-off and be put in any of your child’s orifices.
  • The toy should not be so small that your child can put it into his/her mouth or other orifices.
  • The toy should not have holes, slots or opening that can pinch your child.
  • Plastic toys should not break easily and leave a sharp edge that can cut.
  • All parts of the toy should be non-poisonous.
  • The inside of the toy should not be filled with potentially harmful objects such as pellets.
  • Do not repaint old baby toys and furniture with lead-based paint.
  • The toy should not have pointed parts or the toy itself should not be pointed that your child can fall on.
  • No part of the toys should be attached with a pin or staple.
  • The toy’s moving parts should be firmly attached.
  • The toy should have not string or chord that is long enough to form a noose.
  • A broken toy should be thrown away.
  • The windup key in mechanical toys should be enclose to avoid catching skin, hair and clothes.
  • Toys with cloth carry the following labels: "flame resistant", "flame retardant", or "nonflammable".

Ideal play materials

  • Interesting toys hung within view.
  • Colorful mobile with interesting objects.
  • Crib decals
  • Colorful wall posters
  • Rattle
  • Soft toys for throwing
  • Colorful balls
  • Light plastic blocks
  • Cloth cubes
  • Music box
  • Teether or teething toys
  • Floating bath animals
  • Washable squeak toys
  • Washable, well-constructed dol
  • Washable cuddly toys
  • Nests of hollow blocks
  • Rough-smooth touching books, washable cloth picture books, sturdy, colorful picture books.

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