Written by Aparna Hari
Have you noticed how a newborn goes from sleeping most of the day to observing, looking around, and exploring things within reach? As they grow, their brain function increases, enabling them to observe and learn from their surroundings. Since everything is new to them, they are very curious and try to understand various concepts in their own way. So when do babies start playing with toys and how does this playing activity help them? There is more of a developmental aspect going into the playing that we know.
Toys can help stimulate your baby’s senses and teach them various concepts. It can help in the overall development of the baby – both physical and cognitive. This is why it is important to get them age-appropriate toys. Of course, babies can and will play with everything and not just toys alone.
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Once your bundle of joy arrives, you will be spending most of your time with them. You will be either feeding them, putting them to bed or playing with them. There are not many toys you can buy a newborn. You can play with your newborn in the following ways.
Clap your hands softly, near your baby’s face. A newborn can’t see far, so clap close to their face. You can clap softly and let them experience the whiff of air that comes when you clap.
Use your hands to cover your face and peek out in a second. This teaches a baby object permanence. They learn things still exist even if they can’t see it. it also improves their focus.
Stick your tongue out, make funny faces and watch your baby’s face light up with joy and giggles. Babies love to see and mimic various expressions.
Hold their finger and encourage them to snatch it back; hold your finger within their reach to help improve their grip and hand-eye coordination.
Babies start observing everything. Making noises will keep them captivated for a long time and they will also try to respond with their coos and cries. It helps improve their hearing and vocal cords.
Babies will start playing with toys as soon as they start developing their grip. They will show interest in holding, grabbing, and even lifting items within reach. Babies can start as early as 2 months to start playing with toys.
Babies must always play with age-appropriate safe toys that won’t hurt them or the ones around, in any way. Your baby’s toys should meet the following criteria:
[Read : Guide To Buying Age Appropriate Toys]
If you are planning on buying a toy for your baby, consider the following factors before you pick them up:
This is one of the most important factors to consider before buying your baby a toy. Ensure it is safe for your baby. Avoid toys that have small detachable pieces that your baby might ingest. Similarly, you need to avoid toxic material, toys with sharp edges, or rough textures, as they can cause more harm than help your baby.
[Read : Tips To Buy Safe Toys For Babies]
There are various types of toys you can buy for your baby. Each of these toys will help in stimulating different senses in your baby. You can choose from
Babies can be expensive. When it comes to buying toys, there are just too many of them to choose from and you won’t be stopping with a few. So, it is important to consider your budget. You need to know how much money you can spend on toys in addition to all other expenses – baby and non-baby related.
Sometimes a baby toy may seem very expensive. Don’t worry, you are not imagining it. Some toys can indeed be expensive. It is important to see if the toy you are about to buy gives you enough value for your money.
There is no point in buying a walker or a cycle for a baby who has not even rolled over yet. Invest in age-appropriate toys so that your baby can derive the maximum benefit from them. Sometimes toys that are not age-appropriate may just go waste and sometimes they can harm your baby.
So, when do babies start playing with toys? Most babies can play with rattles textured toys and books by around the third or fourth month of age. But playing as in the real sense will start at around six months of age when they get adept at playing with building blocks, stacking them or playing with balls. Babies love to play. They learn and develop skills through play. It is important to invest in the right toys for your baby at the right times.
[Read : 8 Ways Toys Can Help Your Baby Learn]
You can start buying toys from the time they hit the 2-month mark. You can even buy earlier if your baby shows interest and starts observing.
Nothing is compulsory. If you give age-appropriate toys, your baby can develop their motor skills, and cognitive skills, and learn more about their environment.
Toys are a fun way to stimulate your baby’s brain. Since everything is new, your baby will keep learning from everything around them. So, mix up fun and learning toys.
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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