If you’re a new parent, don’t forget that toys are part of newborn baby care! We’re told as parents that children’s brains do most of their development during the first three years of life – and much of that in the first months of infancy. With that news has come an array of developmental toys for infants, even for newborn babies! Here are some developmental toys for infants that we’ve used with our own babies.
In the newborn baby stage, from birth to age 6 months, babies see less clearly than older children and adults, so baby toys in contrasting colors like black, white and red are easier to see and more stimulating for them. Our kids enjoyed a red, black and white panda teether doll. You can show it to your child, and play hide and seek with the doll, and then when your baby is ready, use it as a teether.
Newborn babies love and respond to faces, especially your own! First, make sure that your baby gets plenty of face time with you, but you may also enjoy a My First Photo Album. You can fill this soft book with pictures of family and friends (be sure to focus on the faces) for baby to look at. At the end, there’s also a mirror page, so that baby can look at herself! I made one of these to take on a trip with my youngest, to help her with being separated from the rest of the family. It’s a keepsake as well as a developmental toy.
These infant toys attach to baby’s wrists or ankles with Velcro straps, where baby can easily see and play with them. With newborn babies, they are excellent for self-entertainment and for car and stroller trips. You can get these rattles in many different shapes and colors, including red/black/white.
Babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, but they’re also supposed to have tummy time while awake! Many newborn babies don’t enjoy tummy time, but you can help them along with a fun play mat. Busy Blankies have fun designs along with baby-safe knots and loops along the edges to play with or teethe on.
Again, newborn babies love faces, and as they grow, they enjoy learning to play with the baby in the mirror, too! There are many different kinds of developmental baby toys with mirrors included – play mats, baby gyms, books, dolls, etc. A simple crib mirror is fun, too (if your baby enjoys relaxing and playing in the crib.
This is one of the infant toys that kept our babies occupied on long car trips: a simple phone rattle. A newborn baby may not be able to hold the phone to his ear, but the phone shape does make it a good grasping toy, and a young baby can grasp and shake (or a sibling can help). Later, of course, they’ll enjoy using the phone just like Mom and Dad.